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 Bardgate 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. 

Consultation on the Public Space Protection Order for the Bradgate Park Estate.

Visitors to the Park, residents and partners are invited to put their comments forward about dog control on the Bradgate Park Estate. Below is the link to our questionnaire via Survey Monkey, plus some further details. The existing full PSPO can be read above. 
The consultation will finish at 5pm on the 30th June 2018.


The Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into force in October 2014. The Act made changes to the powers available to local authorities and their partners in tackling antisocial behaviour.

The Act introduced Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) as a new power. PSPOs to allow local authorities to restrict a wide range of negative behaviours that may have a detrimental effect on people in public spaces.

Why We Are Consulting

We recognise that the majority of dog owners are responsible and ensure their pet does not cause a nuisance or disturb wildlife. There are a minority of irresponsible dog owners who do not.

Bradgate Park Trust are requesting a variation to the existing Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) at Bradgate Park and Swithland Woods, Leicestershire to tackle dog control issues associated with irresponsible dog ownership. 

The variation would make the seasonal controls for dogs on leads in the yellow zone all year round (between 9am and 10pm).

Currently, the control of dogs on leads in yellow zone is between April 1st (or Good Friday – whichever is sooner) to October 31st between 9am and 10pm.

The timings of the restriction will remain the same between 9am and 10pm.

The variation is being requested following a number of dog-related incidents between 1st November and 31st March i.e. outside the period of the current restriction, that would not have occurred had the animal been on a lead.

The yellow zone includes a public right of way which is the footpath to Anstey, this public right of way is located within the yellow zone but the restriction is for dogs on leads by direction.  This has not changed from the introduction of the original PSPO in February 2017. 

Rangers at the park and authorised officers can currently issue on-the-spot fines of £100, to people in charge of dogs who are breaching the agreed prohibitions and will include the proposed inclusion that is outlined in this consultation. 

The current PSPO (which can be viewed on the link on this page) covers:

  • Failing to clear up dog faeces by the person in charge of the dog (all of estate)
  • Failing to comply with a request to put a dog on a lead, by an authorised officer on any land to which the Order applies (green zone – 75% of estate)
  • The person in charge allowing their dog to enter land to which the exclusion element applies (deer sanctuary)
  • A requirement for dogs to be put on leads in the yellow zone between April 1st (or Good Friday whichever is sooner) and October 31st between 9am and 10pm.

Park visitors, residents and groups which may be affected are being asked whether they still support two existing measures in the current PSPO:

  • Enforcement of people not clearing away after their dog has fouled which can result in a fixed penalty notice.
  • Enforcement of dogs on leads by direction in the green zone which may also result in a fixed penalty notice if they refuse or fail to keep the dog on a lead after being directed.

And also views on an extension to the current condition where dogs must be on a lead in the yellow zone from a seasonal basis to all year round:


  • A variation to extend the requirement to put dogs on a lead in the yellow zone of the map above on Bradgate Park all year round.  Currently, this is a seasonal restriction (from Good Friday or April 1st whichever is sooner) to October 31st between 9am and 10pm.

    We are also asking for any other comments, including any details of possible alternative options as well as arguments against the proposals.

We are collecting feedback through an online survey. We also have paper forms available at our Visitor Centre and  Tearooms. 

To visit the online survey (which will open in a new window), please follow this link


What happens after the consultation?

The questionnaire is the first stage in the consultation process to ascertain if there is support for the proposals.  The second stage is the Notice of Intention where the intended proposals for any variation to the current Order will be published.

The Notice of Intention will be published for 28 days on the Charnwood Borough Council website, Bradgate Park website and the in paper format across the park.

This is the formal stage to find out detailed viewpoints.  All comments will be addressed to the Borough Council and will be reviewed by the Borough Council in order to make a decision on the whether any variations will be implemented.

Visit this page to express your opinion:

Please indicate next to the question to what extent you agree with the proposals (please reference map for zone areas):

 Consultation will finish on 30th June 2018 at 5pm