Dog walkers…are you sitting to attention? Our summer season of Dogs Welcome may have closed for now but we’ve got good news – we’re extending the welcome in 2016.
Winter Dogs Welcome starts again in November, when the garden is open to pooches on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until the end of the year. From January 2016 the garden will be open every day to dogs (and their owners of course) until the end of February. Going forward, this every day winter entry for dogs will continue each year from November to February.
In summer we’ll continue our special Wag Wednesday, when the garden is open to dog walkers on Wednesday late night openings, 5-8pm, from May to the end of August.
Since we first began Dogs Welcome in 2013 we’ve seen a steady growth in the number of people bringing their pets to the garden. From several hundred dogs through the gates in the trial year of 2013, we had 1,025 dog visitors from March to March 2014/15.
It has proved especially popular through the winter months, traditionally our quieter period. From talking to visitors, and from comment cards and posts to social media, it seems that winter access is appreciated by local NT members and people living nearby.
Our summer Wednesday evenings is gaining fans too, with holiday makers and people visiting after work for their evening walkies – the numbers of dog visitors rising from 395 May to August 2014 to 473 this summer (and still counting).
We appreciate that not all people are dog lovers! Which is why we limit access times to the garden to make it enjoyable for everyone, and with 80 acres of garden, including new areas like the Far End opening, there is lots of space for all to enjoy. To date there have been very few reported problems of noise, mess, or bad behaviour (human or canine) so this policy seems to be working.
So dog owners…at the risk of getting all Barbara Woodhouse on you… all we ask is that you use a short lead (not extendable), keep to the paths, deposit any dog mess in the bins provided and in the summer please, please do not leave dogs in hot cars in the car park. Enjoy!
For more details about Bodnant Garden call 01492 650460, check out our website nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden or catch up with us on Facebook or Twitter.