Houghton Hall Park is very dog friendly, and four legged friends are very welcome guests in all areas of the park including the visitor centre and cafe.
In mid-June, we will be introducing signage informing of small areas of the park where dogs must be kept on a lead.
These areas combined make up a very minimal amount of space in the park, and the vast majority of the park is unaffected, including all the woodland areas of the park, the open meadows, and sports pitches. If you are a dog owner/walker, please familiarise yourself with the designated areas which are displayed on the map.
Why are we doing this?
Only areas where dogs off-lead could pose a health and safety issue have been designated to dogs on lead:
• The car park and children’s play areas are designated as dogs on leads due to safety considerations – with regular vehicle movements in the car park and young children on the play equipment.
• The produce grown in the kitchen garden is used for cooking in the café, or given to the community or volunteers, and the beds can look very inviting to excited dogs so keeping dogs on a lead in this area ensures the produce can continue to be enjoyed by the community and dog owners/walkers can still enjoy a stroll in the garden.
• In the formal garden dogs can dig the soil in the beds which can cause damage to the plants and require them to be replanted – dogs off-lead in this area can be disruptive to the beds themselves and volunteers undertaking gardening work.
It is an offence not to keep dogs on a lead in a designated area, and failing to do so once the signage is in place incurs a risk of a £1000 fine. We thank park users for walking their dogs responsibly and in consideration of others.