Dog walkers

Delivering win-wins for dogs, their owners and wildlife in Badenoch and Strathspey.


Badenoch and Strathspey, within the Cairngorms National Park, is home to over 6,200 resident dogs and around 150,000 visiting dogs each year. The area is also home to around 85% of the UK capercaillie population.

Research shows that being able to walk dogs off-lead is the single most important requirement for people walking dogs and that dog walkers specifically seek places for off-lead activity. Research also shows that people with dogs are a greater cause of disturbance to wildlife than people alone, and that lone dogs can flush birds 100% of the time. Work with the dog walking community is therefore an essential part of helping capercaillie and other wildlife to thrive.

Canine professionals in Badenoch and Strathspey including dog walkers, trainers, breeders, vets, groomers, people who work dogs professionally and use assistance dogs were asked to share their views about exercising dogs in Badenoch and Strathspey. Read a summary of their views here. Their views were used to create an online survey for the wider dog walking community to complete.


November - January 2023: Residents and visitors to Badenoch and Strathspey who own a dog or have a connection to dogs are invited to complete the online survey below:

Survey: Your views about exercising dogs in Badenoch and Strathspey

February 2023: A series of facilitated workshops will be held for all resident dog walkers in Badenoch and Strathspey to identify and prioritise actions based on the areas of common ground identified through the online survey.

April - December 2023: At least one action related to the issue of disturbance of capercaillie by dogs will be delivered, monitored and evaluated. A broader 5 year programme of actions to deliver win-wins for dog walkers and wildlife will also be developed for delivery from 2024 onwards by the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Events and activities

If you live in Badenoch and Strathspey and own a dog, or have a connection to dogs, please share your views via the survey below. The survey is open until 31 January.

Survey: Your views about exercising dogs in Badenoch and Strathspey




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