It’s official – our famous garden in beautiful North Wales is opening its stately, wrought iron gates to dogs. We’re welcoming four-legged friends from November 1 and making dog walking days a regular part of the calendar.
From now on the garden will welcome dog walkers three days a week during winter on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (November to February), and on Wednesday evenings in summer (May to August).
To celebrate, our Dogs Welcome scheme is being launched with a two-day event on November 1 and 2. The Dogs Trust will be in the garden doing free micro-chipping, there will be also be demonstrations of dog agility, heelwork to music and displays by groups showcasing the amazing work dogs do helping people in our communities.
Dogs Welcome was the idea of gardener Tracy Jones who was passionately convinced that it would be popular with visitors. We held a series of trial dog days earlier this year and after some ‘paws’ for thought, the comments have been analysed, the numbers have been crunched and we’ve decided to make it a regular feature.
While one or two visitors did have concerns the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Figures show it went down especially well with people in the local community, many of whom said they would become members and visit regularly if they could bring their dog. Others came as far away as Yorkshire to walk their dog at Bodnant Garden.
On November 1 and 2 The Dogs Trust will be providing free micro-chipping and also promoting their Big Scoop campaign. We will also be inviting visitors to ‘sign’ the Pawprint Pledge supporting responsible dog ownership – by leaving their pets’ paw marks on a petition board.
One of the highlights of the two days will be displays from PODS (Practical Obedience and Dog Sports) from Anglesey. They will be doing Flyball and agility demonstrations in the Old Park field at 11am, 1pm and 3pm – there will also be chance for visitors to have a go with their own dogs, which should be added entertainment for everyone!
We will also have displays on the Top Lawn from dog groups such as Guide Dogs for the Blind, Support Dogs, Pets as Therapy, Capricorn Animal Rescue, Freshfields Animal Rescue, Greenfields Greyhound Rescue, Pets at Home and even a performance of heelwork to music.
For the youngsters there will be a garden trail to find the hidden bone and win a treat bag for their dog, along with canine themed balloon making and lawn art…and to wet everyone’s whistles there will be al fresco refreshments close to the Top Lawn and in The Dell.
Winter opening hours for all our garden visitors are 10.30am to 4pm. The only rules are, dog owners are asked to keep their pets on short leads, stick to the paths and use the bins provided. Otherwise…enjoy!
For more details about the event contact Bodnant Garden on 01492 650460. Or to find out more about Bodnant Garden check out our website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BodnantGardenNT