The Bradgate Park Trust welcomes dogs and their owners. Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood are wonderful places to visit to exercise your pets and we welcome all dogs and responsible dog owners. We have produced some simple guidelines to help to ensure that the Estate is a safe and enjoyable place for all visitors, their pets and for local wildlife. Please follow these guidelines and we would like to remind you that you are legally responsible for your dog and its actions for the entirety of your visit. 

Safety Advice for Dog Walkers

Please follow the National Dog Walking code and observe the 4 Cs of responsible dog ownership:

CONTROL – keep your dog on a lead or under effective control. A  “dogs on leads” rule is in force in parts of Bradgate Park. Please observe the signs. On all of the Estate (Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood) staff may direct that a dog be put on a lead if in their judgement it is likely to cause a nuisance. 

CHASING – deer die from being chased and the stress it causes. Most deaths are not caused by the dog catching and mauling the deer. ANY deer chase is potentially fatal and can lead to prosecution. The law permits landowners, in extreme circumstances, to shoot dogs that are worrying the deer.

CONSIDER other people – they might not like dogs and your dog running up to them can be terrifying.

CLEAN UP after your dog – if it fouls in a public area bag the mess and bin it in ANY litter bin. Plastic bags kill deer, so do not leave bags of dog mess lying around or tied to bushes.

The Bradgate Park Estate is covered by a Public Space Protection Order that relates to visiting with dogs. This sets out restrictions about clearing up after your pet, keeping your dog under effective control and where dogs must be kept on a lead. Non-compliance can result in a £100 fine. The full text of the Public Space Protection Order can be found here, by clicking this link and the requirements are summarised below. 

Rules for Access Map

Bradgate Park

We require dogs to be kept on a lead in the lower section of the Park (between the River Lin, across the carriageway up to the Middle Wall). It has clear markers to identify where pets can be let off the lead, provided they are kept under effective control. 

Water bowls can be found at the Conservatory Tearoom, Deer Barn Tearoom and Visitor Centre.  Alternatively, the water from the River Lin is fresh and cool and can be paddled in and drank from, whilst pets remain on the lead.

Swithland Wood

In hotter months we highly recommend a visit to Swithland Wood which is just across the road from the Hallgates entrance of Bradgate Park.  Here pets can be off the lead, if under control.  There is a stream that runs through the Wood and the trees offer shade. 

You will often see horses and cyclists passing through the Woods on dedicated paths, so please be vigilant.

Further information

Effective Control: Please keep your dog under effective control at all times in the Upper Park at Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood when visiting and in car parks too. “Effective control” means your dog should remain in your sight at all times and come back when called. A dog out of sight may be a dog out of control. If you can not rely on your dog's obedience, please walk them on a lead.

Effective Dog Control

Most dogs are generally loveable and playful. Don't assume that everyone likes dogs though. Other visitors and wildlife may not feel this way - they may feel frightened, ambushed or uncomfortable. Please be considerate to everybody's needs, and keep your dog under control. This is particularly important at busy holiday times when many families visit.

Please put your dog on a lead when approaching school groups and families picnicking in areas, where dogs are allowed off leads. Do not allow your dog to interfere with other visitors (or their dogs) and spoil their visit. You may know your dog is friendly but the person it runs up to may not - this seemingly innocent action could be deemed “dangerous” . If in doubt please keep your dog on a lead. It is a criminal offence to allow your dog to be out of control on private or public land. If prosecuted you may receive a custodial sentence, a fine, a ban from keeping a dog or any combination of the three. If your dog's behaviour is sufficient to make someone reasonably apprehensive it is classed as being out of control.

Car Parks: We have had incidents of dogs being struck by cars in the car park, so please keep them on a lead in these areas, especially in busy periods. We do not want to see dogs harmed.

Please do not leave pets in locked cars. Dogs die in hot cars.

A Clean and Pleasant Countryside: Help us to keep Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood clean places for all visitors to enjoy by clearing up after your dog, no matter where it may have fouled.  One of the main concerns our visitors have relate to dog owners who do not clear up after their dogs, or owners who do clear up but leave their bags by the path side, throw bags into the grassland, or even worse left hanging in the trees! Please clear up immediately if your dog fouls. Waste can be disposed of in any general waste bin.

A Haven for Wildlife: Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood provide a valuable home for local wildlife - not just the deer at Bradgate Park. Please help us to protect in our conservation aims by ensuring that your dog does not disturb or chase wildlife, or enter animal holes. During spring and early summer ground nesting birds and other wildlife may be disturbed by dogs allowed to run through the meadows and woodland undergrowth. Please put your dog on a lead if it has a tendency to chase wildlife. Please note the Trust actively prosecutes owners where dogs have been involved in deer chases. 


Visitors to the Park, residents and partners have been invited to put their comments forward about dog control on the Bradgate Park Estate. A consultation via questionnaire closed on the 30th June.  Charnwood Borough Council then published the Notice of Intention to vary this Order, outlined below. This formal consultation period closed August 16th.
Please reference the Plan at the top of this page, when looking at locations for the proposed changes. Below is the Notice of Intention, but please note this formal consultation closed on August 16th.


Notice is hereby given that Charnwood Borough Council (‘the Council’) proposes for the purposes of reducing anti-social behaviour in relation to dog control to vary the existing PSPO under Section 61(1b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and of all other enabling powers.
The Council would like to seek your views to vary the existing order. This Notice outlines the details of the proposed variation to the PSPO. Any comments and/or objections should be sent in writing or by email to the correspondence address below.

Current condition in PSPO:
Insisting all dogs are kept on leads in areas of the park shown in yellow on the Plan(Seasonal between Good Friday or 1st April (whichever is sooner) and October 31st and between 9am and 10pm.

Proposed variation:
Insisting all dogs are kept on leads in areas of the park shown in yellow on the Plan between 9am and 10pm

In summary: The seasonal restriction will be removed and it will become all year round.

At the closure of the formal consultation period, the Council will review all comments/objections and will make a decision on whether to vary the order or an alternative in part or in full

The PSPO will continue to address anti-social behaviour issues relating to dog control across the estate of Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood.

The majority of dog owners are responsible and display effective dog control but there are some occasions where additional controls are necessary for clarity to ensure all people in controls of dogs are acting responsibly.
This Order applies to the public places described in the Schedule to this Order (“the restricted area”)

Plan shown at the TOP of this page
Condition: Dogs on leads   £100 fixed penalty notice
Location: In areas shown in yellow on the Plan – between 9am and 10pm.

More details about the Public Spaces Protection Order can be found on the Council website at:

Any representation or objection to the variation to the PSPO outlined in this notice must be in writing addressed to:
Public Spaces Protection Orders Consultation (BP2018), C/O Street Management
Charnwood Borough Council,
Southfield Road,
LE11 2TR

Stating the reference number to which they relate and the grounds for making them before 16th August 2018. Alternatively email [email protected] quoting reference BP/2018 CONSULTATION NOW CLOSED.

What happens now?

The questionnaire was the first stage in the consultation process to ascertain if there is support for the proposals.  The second stage, the Notice of Intention, where details of the variation to the current Order were published and consulted on, closed August 16th. The feedback and comments will be reviewed by the Borough Council in order to make a decision on the whether any variations will be implemented. The outcome will be announced in the autumn.