Suffolk Wildlife Trust launches Hounds of the Heath scheme at Knettishall

Dozens of canines took part in an agility course and dog show at the weekend for the launch of a new project at a Suffolk nature reserve.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the Dog Learning Zone have joined forces to try and establish a community of dog walkers at Knettishall Heath, near Thetford, called the Hounds of the Heath.

The initiative comes after the wildlife trust bought the heath from Suffolk County Council earlier this year following a fundraising appeal.

Ranger Samantha Gay said 70pc of the users of Knettishall Heath were dog walkers and they were keen to get them involved and help in the smooth running of the site.

'We are very excited by the opportunities to build a fantastic relationship with all the dog walkers at Knettishall Heath; many have been coming here for years and know the site extremely well,' she said.

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The Hounds of the Heath project will include organised group walks and dog training sessions and officials at the wildlife trust hope members will be their eyes and ears in so far as reporting issues that need resolving like fallen branches or trail bikers using the heath.

The launch event included a dog show with competitions for the happiest dog, the best junior handler, and best turned out dog.

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