Forest Enterprise Scotland has produced new advisory posters that raise awareness of the needs of dog walkers and horse riders who visit Scotland’s forests.
The move, which is backed by the British Horse Society (Scotland) and the Kennel Club, comes after a several unfortunate incidents between dogs and horses.
The A3 posters offer advice to dog owners and horse riders on how to act around each other.
Paul Hibberd, for Forest Enterprise Scotland, said;
“The forests we manage across Scotland are an incredibly popular recreational resource for a wide range of visitors.
“We welcome everyone – walkers, mountain bikers, dog walkers and horse riders – and it’s important that everyone recognises that on a forest visit, other people’s needs might not be quite the same as their own.
“We want to ensure that everyone enjoys their visit to their local forest.”
The new signage will be deployed by FES staff in local forests and will include a contact number to report incidents that might occur.
Don Milton, Chair of BHS Scotland Access, said:
“We are very grateful to the Forest Enterprise Scotland and to the Kennel Club for recognising our concern over the increase of dog attacks on ridden horses and the potentially very serious consequences.
“Everyone visiting the Scottish countryside with animals has extra responsibility and respecting each other’s needs and safety is very much part of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
“This new resource will be welcomed by land managers and riders alike. We will make use of them at the dog familiarisation days that we arrange for our members to help raise awareness of how dog owners – and horse riders – should behave.”
The sign will be uploaded onto the Forestry Commission Scotland Intranet site for local FCS staff to use in FCS forests, printed at A3 and laminated. Staff will add the relevant forest office number.