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Dogs on Site

As many of our visitors will be aware, historically dogs were welcome on site. However, with the recent developments to the animal collection, for reasons of biosecurity and animal welfare, it has become necessary to restrict access.

As reflected by the strict quarantine protocols applied to our wolves, responsible biosecurity measures to ensure the health and wellbeing of the animals in our care are a crucial aspect of animal management. This responsibility also extends to any animals which enter our premises. We are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the risk of pathogens entering or leaving the collection is kept to an absolute minimum. To this end, all traffic of live animals, animal feed, by-products and waste on and off site, is subject to strict controls.

In addition to the question of biosecurity, the animal collection here at Wildwood Devon now includes a number of species for which unexpected close encounters with dogs would be considered by the licensing authorities to have the potential to be extremely stressful. These species include British wildcat, lynx and wolves.

Whilst we are confident that the vast majority of our dog-owning visitors are responsible, and that the dogs in their charge are no doubt well-behaved, it is not possible to predict the behavioural reactions of our animals, or that of the dogs when such encounters occur. The potential for the animals in our collection and the dogs to become extremely excited and/or distressed is sufficiently high as to require reasonable control measures.

Important: Visitors should also note that in the interests of animal welfare, we follow the RSPCA’s strict guidance on dogs in cars and cannot therefore allow dogs to be left in cars in our car park. For more information on this please visit the RSPCA’s web site.

We are happy to confirm that whilst the park itself is no longer accessible to dogs, the rest of the Escot Estate remains welcoming to responsible dog-owners who wish to enjoy the beautiful grounds.

We are keenly aware that for many of our longstanding visitors the freedom to enjoy the park with dogs figured highly in the decision to visit. As such we are extremely grateful for the messages of understanding and support that we have received from those visitors who have for many years enjoyed sharing their love of the park with their much-loved family pets.

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