Stricter dog rules planned for Sandringham nature reserve

Dersingham Bog nature reserve, near Wolferton. Picture: Ian Burt

Dersingham Bog nature reserve, near Wolferton. - Credit: Ian Burt

Dog owners may have to keep their four-legged friends on leads all year round at a west Norfolk nature reserve to protect breeding birds.  

Natural England has launched a public consultation to extend restrictions at Dersingham Bog National Nature Reserve, which is part of the Sandringham Estate close to the village of Wolferton.

Dersingham Bog nature reserve, near Wolferton. Picture: Ian Burt

Dog walking rules could be toughened at Dersingham Bog nature reserve, part of the Sandringham Estate, to protect ground breeding birds. - Credit: Ian Burt

Currently dogs must be on short leads between March 1 and July 31.

But a consultation document states that the 93-hectare reserve has become more popular with visitors.

As a result dogs off leads are now causing greater disturbance to ground nesting birds including woodlark, stonechats and nightjars. 

“The favoured route by people both with and without dogs is along the adjacent track, which is tolerable,” it adds.

Nightjar

Nightjar numbers have increased over the last few years at Dersingham Bog nature reserve. - Credit: Archant

“However, any additional access further into the roost site by dogs off leads would cause disturbance.”

The consultation runs until March 5. Comments can be submitted directly via sarah.haigh@naturalengland.org.uk.