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This is how dog walkers can help protect endangered birds

Published: Tuesday, 24 May, 2022

Dog owners and walkers can help protect ground nesting birds when enjoying country walks by parking in designated bays, keeping to footpaths, and ensuring dogs are walked on the lead.

Commons and farmland provide the ideal breeding ground for birds who make their nests on the ground including skylarks and meadow pipits, whose numbers have declined over recent years.

Stroud district is well known for its commons, some of which lie within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and are home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna that thrive on the rare, unimproved grassland including rare orchids and butterflies.

Selsley Common is managed by Stroud District Council, part of which is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Rodborough and Minchinhampton Commons are managed by the National Trust.

Cllr Chloe Turner, Chair of Stroud District Council’s Environment Committee said:

“The numbers of ground nesting birds have been in steep decline over recent years, and the best way to help them thrive for future generations is to keep to the footpaths and ensure dogs are kept on a lead during nesting season.

The Council Plan pledges that we will work with local communities and partners to protect and enhance the district’s green infrastructure and biodiversity.”

The ground nesting bird season lasts from spring until early summer.

Walks in the Stroud district can be downloaded at

Walkers should also be aware that cows were released recently on Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons, and it is especially important that dog walkers pick up after their dogs, as dog faeces can be harmful to cows.

There are more than 1,000 litter bins in the Stroud district. If you can’t find one please take your litter home and dispose of it in your household waste. Full litter bins can be reported at

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