Walkers in High Weald urged to keep dogs on leads after attacks on sheep

The National Farmers’ Union has joined forces with the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to remind people to follow the countryside code.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 6:35 pm

The groups are appealing to walkers with dogs to keep them on a lead around farm animals because of recent dog attacks on sheep.

They said there are ‘peak numbers’ of sheep with lambs in fields at this time of year and, if chased, sheep can die from stress and exhaustion, and pregnant ewes can lose their lambs.

Walkers are also urged to follow signs, leave gates as they find them, keep to designated footpaths and byways, and not to trample crops.

The NFU has joined forces with High Weald AONB to remind people to follow the countryside code. Picture: NFU

“Over the past year we’ve seen more people than ever exploring the High Weald’s extensive 2,395km network of footpaths, bridleways and byways,” said Jason Lavender, co-director of the High Weald AONB Partnership.

“However, the increased pressure from visitors – of the two and four-legged variety – has left some of our hardworking farmers and rural businesses counting the cost.”

The NFU is also reminding people that they should let their dog off the lead if they are chased by cattle and get themselves to safety quickly.