We welcome many dog walkers to Escot throughout the year and most are extremely responsible in keeping to the footpaths, picking up poo and keeping dogs under control. We appreciate this greatly.
At this time of year you’ll see sheep and lambs on the fields. We would ask that everyone takes extra care around livestock. Unfortunately there have been a number of cases of livestock worrying this year already.
The most sensible approach is to keep your dog under control around livestock by putting them on the lead. As much as we know and love our dogs, occasionally they behave out of character.
If an incident of sheep worrying happens, a farmer has every right to shoot a dog. Nobody wants that, not the farmer, not the owner, and, as dog owners ourselves, certainly not us.
Please note, we do not obstruct access to public footpaths without going through the correct channels, and we have not done so this year. Sometimes walkers at Escot get confused about which are public footpaths, so please understand and listen if you are advised that you are not on an official path.
This is part of a report from last year from Devon and Cornwall Police:
During 2022 Devon & Cornwall Police received 140 reports of livestock attacks. 220 animals have been killed or injured, and two dogs were killed.
During such an incident the stress can cause a sheep to die or miscarry their lambs long after the event. It can often be difficult to attribute longer term issues to a specific incident.
When a dog is allowed to chase or attack livestock it is a criminal offence and can have a devastating impact on livestock, farmers and in some circumstances the dog and the owner. Crime data indicates an increase in reports at this time of year as the weather improves and as more people access the countryside, particularly during lambing.
A huge thank you for taking the time to read this. We hope you continue to enjoy walking your dogs safely at Escot.