Paws in the Park

Craig-y-nos Country Park in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park are holding two special dog days on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th February, 10am-4pm each day. The park in the Swansea Valley area receives thousands of dog walkers a year. It will host an array of dog related activities and demonstrations for visitors and their four-legged friends to get involved with this half term.

Dog walkers at Craig-y-nos Country Park © Bob Grainger Photography

Dog walkers at Craig-y-nos Country Park
© Bob Grainger Photography

Local dog trainer and behaviourist Theresa Toomey will be on hand with top tips and tricks on dog handling. She will also be offering advice sessions for owners to get individual hints between 11am and 12noon and 1pm and 2pm on both days and dog owners can sign up for 10-15 minute slots first come first served on the day. For more adventurous pets there is also the chance to have a go at dog agility between12noon and 1pm and again from 2pm to 3pm. Sessions are all free but spaces are limited. The National Park’s own Head Warden Judith Harvey will be giving a demonstration with her working dogs, two German Shorthaired Pointers and a Labrador. Visitors can also meet a range of other breeds of dogs including giant Newfoundland Dogs and tiny Toy Dog breeds and treat their pets to a pamper session by dog groomer Rhiannon Saddler.

With spring fast approaching bringing the ground-nesting birds breeding season and spring lambs, ‘Paws in the Park’ is also the perfect time for visitors to find out more about how to make sure their dogs are safe out walking in the park. Experts from Brecknock Wildlife Trust and the farming community will be attending on both days and will be happy to answer questions from the public.

Craig-y-nos Country Park warden, Ian Penn added : “The National Park is very popular with dog walkers and we wanted to celebrate all aspects of dog ownership with this event. We also want visitors to be able to walk their dogs in the park safely and with care. With around half of our visitors to Craig-y-nos Country Park bringing a dog with them it’s important to me that the Park can be enjoyed by both humans and wildlife alike.”

Mr Edward Evans, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Member Champion for Agriculture and Land Management also commented, “It’s true that we are a nation of dog lovers but with so many people taking their dogs into the countryside over the Christmas break, sadly, the number of dog attacks on sheep grew alarmingly. Farmers are now at their wits end and with the lambing season beginning it’s even more important that sheep are not stressed or hurt by dogs – livelihoods are at stake and Police and farmers are warning that dogs found worrying and attacking sheep will be shot. To raise awareness of this and other dog related issues we are running the event at Craig-y-nos Country Park to encourage dog owners not to take any chances with the wellbeing of their pets and to give them vital information about wildlife and farm animals along with the tools they need to act responsibly. We hope the displays and the dog training and agility will be a real draw for dog owners and motivate them to find out more about how to protect and support the countryside that they enjoy with their dogs.”