Dog Walking

Well-behaved dogs are welcome on our Horsell Common with the exception of the fenced wetland area and easy access path around the pond and waterfowl nesting areas at Heather Farm.

Heather Farm offers great facilities for dog walkers with a large car park at the start of the 2.8km circular walk. When you return from your walk please take advantage of the dog washing facilities, dog parking areas and the dog-friendly Waters Edge café.

We ask that dog owners follow this guidance during their visit to Horsell Common:-

Always pick up after your dog

Dog mess is not only an unsightly health hazard for other visitors, it promotes the growth of invasive plants and discourages the growth of wildflowers. Please pick up after your dog and use the red bins provided or take your waste home with you.

Keep your dog close to you and in sight or on a lead

This helps to minimise the distress and disturbance caused to local wildlife and any grazing animals. If your dog is off the lead and out of sight, it may well be causing disturbance to wildlife or other visitors.

Commercial Dog Walkers

If you are using Horsell Common (which includes Heather Farm) for your dog walking business you must have a licence to do so. Email; for more information.

Be considerate of horse riders

There have been a number of incidents recently involving dog owners and horse riders. We would respectfully remind you that all users of the common have a shared responsibility to ensure the safety of themselves and others wishing to enjoy the countryside. Everyone has a right to access Horsell Common, whether on foot or on horseback, but they should always be in control of their animals and respect the rights of others. We all enjoy the freedom of the countryside but need to be aware that safety must come first. Both horses and dogs need to be under control.

  • If your dog is difficult to control, please use a lead
  • Call your dog to heel when you see a horse rider approach
  • Please remember, an out of sight dog may be out of control
  • Stay calm if a situation arises; try to prevent your dog from excessive barking

Please remember you are responsible for the actions of your dog and you must be able to maintain full control at all times. Inability to do so may result in a criminal prosecution being brought against you.

Be aware of ground nesting birds

Ground nesting birds such as nightjars, lapwings, Dartford warblers, woodcocks, stonechats and meadow pipits are present on many sites from Mid March to September and we ask dog owners to keep to paths during this time to minimise disturbance and protect eggs.

Be aware of grazing animals

Some areas of our sites are managed with the help of grazing animals. Please keep your dog on a lead in these areas to avoid distress to the livestock. Look out for and take note of signs on gates to sites where cattle are present. Ensure all gates are closed behind you.