Conference delegates visit East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Nature Reserve
Conference delegates visit East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Nature Reserve

With the increasing number of dog owners, land managers and nature-focussed leaders are turning their attention to making better places for people, farm animals and nature when managing outdoor spaces.

Renowned dog-walking expert Stephen Jenkinson joined Devon Loves Dogs and representatives from national parks, local councils, nature charities and land managers in East Devon last week. The conference was designed to improve their knowledge about the way people and their pets explore Devon’s picturesque countryside and to help them do that in wildlife- and livestock-friendly ways.

Stephen has advised Natural England, the Kennel Club and the United Nations in Bosnia. He has appeared on BBCTV’s Countryfile, BBC Radio 4’s Ramblings with Clare Balding and Crufts on Channel 4. His life and work also features in broadcaster and writer Clare Balding’s book, Isle of Dogs.

Working from his island home in Orkney he travels across the globe helping people to support the human health benefits of dog walking, while minimising any problems for livestock, wildlife or other people.

Stephen said:
"It’s been a pleasure to support Devon Loves Dogs and organisations that care for nature and farm animals to help people have happy, healthy dog walks that are good for the environment too."

Julie Owen Project Co-ordinator for Devon Loves Dogs said:
"We're thrilled to have spent the day with Stephen. His work beautifully combines two of our passions: dogs and nature. By collaborating, we can help land managers and our visitors (alongside their furry friends) to make better, more thoughtful choices that benefit both people and the environment."

Tim Russell, Recreation & Access Projects Officer, Dartmoor National Park Authority, said:
"Thank you for providing and presenting such a useful and thought-provoking workshop which is very relevant and topical in today’s countryside. The site visit was really useful, seeing the excellent work of the Pebblebed Heaths Team."

Kim Strawbridge, Reserves Manager, Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust, said:
"It was a great day especially bringing people together from a range of organisations and individuals with different roles. It showcased the work of Devon Loves Dogs really positively and was valuable for building a more insightful understanding of effective behaviour change."


Stephen Jenkinson and Julie Owen