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Control of Dogs in the Countryside

We are happy to see responsible dog owners and their pets enjoying the countryside of Tameside. The purpose of this page is to let you know your responsibilities for controlling your dog so that everyone can enjoy their visit.

Health and Safety

The Council has a legal duty to ensure the health and safety of visitors, many of whom are children, to its countryside areas.

For the health and safety of other visitors, and to avoid disturbance to livestock and wildlife you must ensure your dog is properly controlled at all times when you visit the countryside.

Dog fouling

There are about 30,000 dogs in Tameside: each day they produce nearly 12 tonnes of dog mess. This often affects our countryside footpaths and grass areas.

Always clean up after your dog and dispose of the waste responsibly.

This means always carrying the means to clean up after your dog: a simple plastic bag or a poop scoop. Take the waste away with you unless there are special dog waste bins. Don't throw it in the bushes!

Poop scoops are available from pet shops and the countryside visitor centres.

Dog bins are provided at various locations around Werneth Low, Park Bridge and Lymefield Visitor Centres. Poo bags are available free from each of the centres.

Keeping you dog under control

Many people feel unsure of other peoples' dogs! Keep your dog under control at all times. Don't let it frighten other people or chase wildlife or farm animals.

Where can I take my dog?

Generally: On Council owned countryside your dog can generally be allowed to run free, provided you keep it under close control. You must clean up after your dog and respect the rights of other visitors.

Guided walks and events: We run many guided walks and events each year. You may not always be able to take your dog with you. Please check the events leaflet or telephone 0161-330 9613.

Visitor centres: Only guide dogs, hearing dogs for the deaf and dogs aiding disabled visitors are allowed in our centres. We provide bowls of drinking water and hitching posts where dogs can be left while you visit the centre.

Car parks: Where possible our car parks provide areas of shade where you can park your car. Please ensure your dog remains on a lead until well clear of the car park, both for its own safety and to prevent fouling.

Play and picnic areas: As a general rule please keep your dog well away from these areas. However, where you are using the facility please keep your dog on a lead at all times and prevent its fouling. Should it foul, please clear up after it and dispose of the waste responsibly.

Farmland: Incidents of livestock being worried by uncontrolled dogs are all too frequent, especially at lambing time. Keep
your dog on a lead when crossing farmland.

An occupier of the land has the right to shoot a dog that is worrying farm animals.

Access Land: Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 many areas of open land are being designated as having a general right of access on foot. This includes moorland in private ownership. Dogs will not be allowed, not even on a lead, other than on designated rights of way.

What the law says


Dog fouling

Did you know you may face a fine if you do not clean up after your dog?

Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996

Under this Act you face a fine of up to £1,000 if you do not clean up after your dog.

Keeping you dog under control

Did you know that you may face a fine or imprisonment as a result of injury or damage caused by your dog (including injury to another dog) if you fail to keep proper control of your dog?

Animals Act 1971

Section 3 of this Act imposes a strict liability (there is no defence) on the keeper of a dog where the dog causes damage by killing or injuring livestock.

Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953

Section 1 of this Act makes it a criminal offence for a dog to worry livestock on any agricultural land.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

Under Section 3 of this Act you are required, as a dog owner, to keep your dog under proper control. This applies to ALL dogs. It is a criminal offence to allow your dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place.

For the purpose of the Act, a dog is regarded as dangerously out of control on any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person, whether or not it actually does so.

If you were found guilty under Section 3 of the Act you are liable, on conviction, to up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000.

If your dog actually causes injury, this is what is called an aggravated offence. If you were found guilty you are liable:

  1. on summary conviction to up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000, or both;
  2. on conviction on indictment (in the Crown Court) to up to two years imprisonment or a fine, or both.

Follow the Countryside Code

Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work.

Respect - Protect - Enjoy

  • Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
  • Keeps dog under close control
  • Consider other people


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