National Trust to welcome dogs to its properites

THE National Trust is making moves to become more dog-friendly, it revealed yesterday.It has appointed a dog officer to try to ensure consistency between its more than 500 properties, director-general Hilary McGrady told the Daily Express.

The Trust – slogan “Everyone Welcome” – says about half of visitors to its 500 properties and 625,000 acres of countryside have dogs.

Owners say they feel like secondclass citizens because access varies from property to property.

Some are stricter about where dogs can go and some provide dog waste bins while others do not.

Ms McGrady, who has a collie, Maddie, at her home near Belfast, said: “We are constantly sandwiched between people who have dogs and want more access and people who do not like dogs.

“I would not be surprised if dog walkers accounted for about 50 per cent of visitors to our properties.

“We have just appointed an officer to deal with dogs because it has become a bigger and bigger issue for us.

“Consistency is the key. At some properties you can take dogs and at others you can’t.

“Some of our restaurants allow dogs but others do not. We want consistency with all this and with the provision of dog bins.

“I want to welcome dog owners to our properties because dogs are a reason for people getting out and about. But owners need to be responsible.

“I do not want my rangers picking up dog poo. It’s a waste of their time.

But we have to find a way to help people bring dogs responsibly to our properties.”

The National Trust has more than five million members and across the UK one in four households has at least one dog. This suggests that members alone could have about one million dogs between them, not to mention non-members who pay on the door.

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