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Things to do ... with dogs!

We're going to Shepperton  (off the M3 near Woking) in March, so Mollydog can have her details taken for her sculpture.   We'll be there at 10am, and it probably won't take more than an hour or so, so we thought we'd look for something interesting to do afterwards or on the way home.

Thing is, the SouthEast seems to be a monumentally un-dogfriendly place: anything that looks vaguely interesting is 'no dogs', or at best 'dogs allowed only into the peripheral areas where nothing interesting can be seen'.    I was thinking perhaps RHS Wisley, but no, it's no dogs (so is Rosemoor now, I note - :-( I'm sure that's changed recently, too, and I don't know *why* - if you go there in the winter, the place is practically deserted, they'd attract more visitors if they were dogfriendly at least out of season  ) .   Westonbirt Arboretum is dog friendly, but that would mean coming back along the M4. which makes the journey quite a bit longer.     Maybe we'll just come home and then do something locally instead.  :-(



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
17th Feb, 2009 22:22 (UTC)
That's not a bad idea. To be honest I was really looking for something that would entertain us, that would allow the hounds to tag along... but exploring the NF might be entertaining for us all.
17th Feb, 2009 21:04 (UTC)
When you say "why", I'd hazard a guess it's got something to do with poo. I know you're a responsible owner, but most aren't! Nice to go to a garden where you know you don't need to worry about your toddler falling face first into a pile of unmentionable... N.
17th Feb, 2009 21:20 (UTC)
But why favor the toddler? Toddlers get no more from fine horticulture than dogs do, come with a great deal of mess and equipment, cannot be trusted not to get into the beds, require extra provision for bulky and non-biodegradable nappies, and make noise that is disruptive to serious garden visitors. They would be perfectly happy with an ordinary park...

Give it a few more years, and I reckon you may well start seeing the same rules applied to small children. I think people are becoming increasingly intolerant of noise, mess and disorder, and generally, other people and rather than insist that rules are enforced or that consideration for other users should be observed, there is a trend to simply ban anyone or anything that they think might cause annoyance. One may walk decorously along the paths, not touching anything, and pay generously for the privilege...
17th Feb, 2009 21:30 (UTC)
Ah well, that's true. I suppose I thought it would be an economic decision -- more ppl with kids than dogs, and more ppl that object to dog mess than to screechy kids. - N.
17th Feb, 2009 21:41 (UTC)
In the summer, that's probably true, but I think the argument reverses itself in the winter. All the info I've seen on beaches, parks, etc, suggests that dog walkers are the only people who can be relied on to turn out in any weather, day in, day out, wallet in hand...

Certainly any cafe that doesn't serve dog owners in the winter around here might as well close.

There's the crime argument too: dogs may leave poo, but many owners litter-pick, report crime, and discourage vandalism by simply providing an audience: that's why the Forestry Commission like and encourage dogwalkers.
17th Feb, 2009 22:19 (UTC)
.... because I should be doing a particularly dull bit of work, I was intrigued by this question, and did some superficial research.

The Petfood Manufacturers Association says that in 2004, there were 5.2million dog owning households in the UK.

According to statistics.gov.uk, in 2001, there were 7,220,594 families with dependent children in the UK.

This was closer than I was expecting, I must say. The PFMA also reckon that dog ownership is most common among people in their 40's and 50s. So it's possible that the audience for horticultural gardens may even be as likely to own a dog as to live with a toddler. Strange.
18th Feb, 2009 08:15 (UTC)
More likely, surely; not all dependent children are toddlers.
18th Feb, 2009 08:23 (UTC)
You are right: I think I had some muzzy idea that people who had lived in households with toddlers in the past might still be more likely to enjoy the company of other families with toddlers, but then realised that probably didn't entirely stack up...
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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