Welcoming our four-legged friends

If you visited us last month, you may well have found yourself sharing space in the Lakeside Café with some of our four-legged friends. Better all-weather facilities for dog owners have been on our wish list for some time and are regularly requested by our visitors, so for a week we encouraged people to bring their pooches into the Forest Centre to help us understand some of the challenges involved.

The response was fantastic and it was great to see everyone enjoying the facilities. The arrival of rain on the Thursday was a welcome change after all the hot weather and gave us the opportunity to see just how many dog owners stayed on to use the café.

One question a lot of people asked, was about how we choose to partition the café during the trial, with many suggesting alternatives that they felt might be more suitable. To explain; as well as Park visitors, we regularly accommodate conference delegates, private groups and children's events so we set the café as we would need to on an average day to see how things could work for our different types of customers. Unfortunately, some busy lunchtimes quickly showed us that creating a separate space for dogs isn’t practical with the current the current café layout and the number of groups we are already trying to look after.

The good news is, that with two-thirds of visitors supporting the idea, the trial has made us more determined than ever to find a solution and creating better all-weather facilities for all our visitors will be a key part of our plans for the Forest Centre. Thank you to everyone who brought along their dog or gave us their feedback!

 For more information, contact us on 01234 767037 or send us an email.