Woodbury Common dog walkers urged to ‘keep pets on path’ to protect nesting birds

Waggy Walks group photo. Picture by Exeter and East Devon Growth Point.

Waggy Walks group photo. Picture by Exeter and East Devon Growth Point. - Credit: Exeter and East Devon Growth Point

Dog owners are being urged to keep pets on paths around Woodbury Common to help protect nesting birds.

A nightjar. Picture by RSPB.

A nightjar. Picture by RSPB. - Credit: RSPB

East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust is encouraging dog walkers to keep pets close to heel for the next few months to protect rare ground nesting of birds. The action is part of an effort to protect nesting birds in the area, such as the Dartford Warbler and Nightjar, both species of conservation concern.

Site manager Kim Strawbridge said: “If you’re not confident that your dog will stay on the path close to you, and come back when called, then you should use a lead”.

Kim explained many bird species nest on or near the ground and that severe disturbances can lead to adults abandoning nests, making eggs and chicks vulnerable to predators.

She added: “We have a brilliant network of paths across the heaths and so it makes keeping to the trails a very simple, but hugely beneficial way to protect wildlife during this important time.”

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