Walking with your dog

The Countryside Code: Respect Everyone; Protect the Environment; Enjoy the Outdoors

We welcome responsible dog walkers. 

There are miles of footpaths to explore with your dog, but please be aware, the Shropshire Hills countryside is home to lots of farm animals and wildlife. Owners are expected to keep dogs under close control, ideally on a lead. Keeping control of your dog means: ​ 

  • Being able to recall your dog in any situation at the first call.
  • Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice, this means keeping them on a footpath. if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible.
  • Having a lead with you to use if you encounter farm animals or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one.

Help us to set a good example by clearing up after your dog and keeping it under close control and on a lead during lambing and breeding season (March - July). 

photo of dog and owner on top of hill

March to July - farm animals & wildlife breeding season 

Farm animals (sheep, cattle, ponies)

Much of the Shropshire Hills countryside is grazed by sheep and cattle. Every year, from March to May, sheep give birth to their lambs. It’s vitally important that you keep your dog on a lead during this period. Being chased by dogs can do serious damage to sheep, even if the dog doesn't catch them. The stress of worrying can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs.

Use the lead to protect your pet and farm livestock & livelihoods


The Shropshire Hills are an important breeding area for ground-nesting birds such as grouse, skylark and curlew. Their breeding season runs from March to July so please keep your dog on a lead at this time. Disturbed birds may be prevented from settling, or if they're already nesting they will fly away from their nests, neglecting their eggs or chicks.

Keeping dogs on footpaths is key to these species survival