Garden has the bow wow factor

Garden has the bow wow factor

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is allowing dogs in its grounds for the first time.

Since opening to the public in May 2000, the Garden has only allowed guide dogs on to its 600-acre site, which includes a national nature reserve. But, on Saturday March 9, the doors will be open to all responsible dog owners for a one-day trial.

Curator Simon Goodenough said: “The most frequently asked question by would-be visitors to the Garden is: ‘Are dogs allowed?’ so we are really reacting to public demand by holding this trial.”

Simon said it was clear the Garden should “give the trial day a try” but that there were some basic rules such as dogs being kept on leads, off the flower beds, out of the buildings and that owners clear up after their pets.

“Because we haven’t ever had dogs here, we are asking people to act responsibly and be considerate as we are not geared up for poop scooping.”

Just to make it clear, these are the rules that we would like everyone to observe:

Doggie Day Rules

  • Dogs must be on a lead at all times and under the control of their handlers (extended leads excluded if possible). Please do not take your dog off the lead at any time.
  • To protect our plant collections, please keep your dogs on the path or on grassy areas. Dogs are not permitted to walk onto planting beds or borders.
  • Please be a responsible dog owner, clean up after your pet and take it away – the Garden does not provide dog bins.
  • Don’t leave dogs unattended at any time.
  • Aggressive dogs are not permitted in the garden. The National Botanic Garden of Wales reserves the right to refuse entry to, or remove, any dog thought to be dangerous to visitors or other dogs.
  • Dogs are not permitted to enter any buildings or structures (including glasshouses, restaurant and shop) on site or the children’s play area.
  • Dogs in heat are prohibited from entering the garden.
  • Most importantly, we ask that you use good judgement on all matters concerning your dog. This will ensure an enjoyable and safe visit for you and your pet.

Not that Simon is expecting any problems, though: “There’s plenty of room for everyone here and plenty to explore. Many of our members and visitors are dog owners and we know they love the Garden and respect what we have here so there’s no reason to think it will be anything other than another fabulous day out at the best garden in Wales.”

The National Trust’s Bodnant Garden recently held a successful ‘doggy day’ trial and are planning a further two.

The National Botanic Garden is open from 10am until 4.30pm. There is no entrance fee for dogs.

For more information, email  or call 01558 667149.

14 Responses to “Garden has the bow wow factor”

  1. iris Francis says:

    Hope the owners clean up after the dogs .Dog feces may contain parvovirus, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms,
    threadworms, campylobacteriosis, giardia, and coccidia. If left
    unattended, these parasites will contaminate the water, soil, and
    can even cause infection in both pets and humans (especially
    children). The microscopic Hookworm larvae can be passed to another
    pet or person directly through the skin or by accidental ingestion
    as can other bacteria.

  2. Kath Ferguson says:

    Oh so negative! We are a family of 5 and have had membership for years. We treasure our memories of the gardens but would definitely attend more if able to bring our dog. Often, gardeners and those interested in plants love animals too. Monty Don doesn’t worry about Hookworm! Most dog owners pick up after their dog but are maligned because of the irresponsible few. It’s a great idea to do a trial.Dogs on leads work in St Fagans. Well done Botanics. You can never please all of the people but you’ve made my family happy!

  3. David Jones says:

    Another dog toilet .
    Visited with my 2 daughters today .
    My 4 year old was so frightened by a big dog that she wet her self.
    If this is allowed to take place I will not be taking my kids their again as they 1 /do not like dogs 2/ Dogs are disgusting mobile faeces machines ,Who spread all sort of nasty thing s.
    Where were the ducks and geese today ?
    What next shooting and fox hunting ?
    If you want to spoil this place again do but I will be making representation’s to have your funding withdrawn.
    Take your dogs to Penbrey Dog toilet/park
    On one of the rare occasions I have with my daughters to go for a walk it was spoiled by . Disrespectful and selfish old people who do not care about kids !

  4. Rhoda Murphy says:

    The Botanic Garden is a vast estate for all to enjoy.Responsible dog owners will not disrespect it—if anyone does,they can be asked to leave as laid down in the rules for entry of dogs. There are many areas of the garden where dogs will not even be seen by the general public..The “Dog Days” are experimental and members should be willing to at least give it a chance. Dogs on leads pose little threat to children—the majority of dog owners love their pets and take great care of them and dispose carefully of any “small deposits” !

  5. David Jones says:

    A botanic garden is a place to enjoy, Who will be washing the clothes and shoes of the victims of dog waste !
    Dog owners do not let their dogs mess their lawns !!!
    No they take them to places where others will have to pick it up
    Also dogs mess can blind children !
    Furthermore what person in their right mind would think of such a stupid idea ?
    The way to attract visitors is to advertise as a friendly place where kids can walk and play without danger of being attacked by a dog or possibly contracting fatal illnesses caused by dog mess !
    If you want to walk your dog their are plenty of parks full of poo for you and your K9 to visit !
    If you had kids you would understand !
    My 4 year old was frightened and most distressed by an angry dog today and spoiled her day !
    And you could not even care the slightest as all you care about is your K9!
    No thanks stay away we do not need dogs to spoil such a place !

  6. David Jones says:

    As to Miss Rhoda Murphy’s comment .
    Yes they care more about their dogs than children !
    Keep your K9 in the car and take it home to do its mess and clean it up your self . If you wish to live with a dog that is your choice !
    Do not expect others to have the same opinions as you .
    If you want to kiss your dog do so !
    I prefer my kids and do not wish for them to be bitten or distressed or possibly catch an illness due to you and your K9

  7. David Jones says:

    Waste Not, Want Not

    Leave the Poop-Scooping to the Pros

    Dog waste is an environmental pollutant. In 1991, it was labeled a non-point source pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), placing it in the same category as herbicides and insecticides; oil, grease and toxic chemicals; and acid drainage from abandoned mines.
    Far from Fertilizer
    Woof-woof waste does not a good fertilizer make. It is actually toxic to your lawn, causing burns and unsightly discoloring.

    Beyond your grass, it has been estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. EPA even estimates that two or three days’ worth of droppings from a population of about 100 dogs would contribute enough bacteria to temporarily close a bay, and all watershed areas within 20 miles of it, to swimming and shell fishing
    Whoever dreamed this up needs to know what health risks dogs are to the plants in the botanic garden of wales !
    Even grater the danger dog poo dose to humans !

  8. David Jones says:

    Dog poop is NOT fertilizer. Due to a dog’s high-protein diet, dog waste is highly acidic and will burn your lawn creating “hot spots.”

    picture of salmonella bacteria

    Just one gram of dog waste can contain as many as 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which can seep into groundwater and spread salmonella and giardia. This poses a hazard to your pets, your family, and your landscape.

    Your lawn mower does not chop it up and make it go away. In fact, it makes it worse by spreading it around your yard in smaller pieces where you, your children, and your pets continue to step in it and then bring it into your home.

    Dog fecal matter is a major contributor to storm water pollution. One out of three households have at least one dog, and all that dog poop left out in the rain eventually liquifies and ends up in our storm drains, which in most metropolitan areas means it also ends up in our lakes and streams.

    Nearly 20 years ago the EPA classified dog waste as a dangerous pollutant in the same category as toxic chemicals and oil. Not really a great thing to leave in your back yard.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirms that hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and Salmonella can be spread by contact with infected dog waste. When dog poop is left to decay, after a long time (it can take over one year for dog waste to decompose) the poop may “disappear,” but the eggs from these parasites can linger for years in the soil – leaving your family and your pets vulnerable to serious infection
    Please pas this information on to whoever had this bright idea

  9. Gill Chalk says:

    It’s very sad that some people are so negative about dogs, but then not everyone likes children, they can be noisy, rude and run around getting in the way. I like well behaved dogs and well behaved children, but heartily dislike all who are allowed to run riot and spoil others enjoyment. We wouldn’ t think of banning kids so why not give dog owners a chance to show they love and respect the gardens too? It’s only a trial. As long as people who don’t comply are asked to leave (and I’m sure there won’t be many) everyone should be able to tolerate each other and enjoy the great environment and hard work that goes to make NBG Wales such a good place

  10. Pedr Barfog says:

    Some thoughts struck me on reading the proposed ‘rules’ – here is thought 1:
    “Dogs must be on a lead at all times and under the control of their handlers (extended leads excluded if possible). Please do not take your dog off the lead at any time.”

    I do not really understand the section in brackets – especially the ‘if possible’ element as I am unsure which bit is potentially not possible, and who decides that. Surely dogs are either allowed to be on extended leads or they are not? I have observed dogs on such long leads that they cannot possibly be prevented by their handlers from walking on a flowerbed as opposed to an adjacent path, etc.

    By way of illustration – consider a dog on a long lead in the walled garden….. how are they to be kept to the paths?

    Perhaps the answer is for dogs to be kept on short leads throughout – or perhaps for short leads to be obligatory in areas such as the tea gardens, walled garden, maize (when in operation) and when near the water elements where ducks etc would be disturbed?

    I am not necessarily objecting to this ‘rule’, merely asking for clarification.

    The phrase ‘Please do not take your dog off the lead at any time’ is far too weak – it needs to say ‘If you take your dog off a lead at any time, you will be required to leave the Gardens immediately and there will be no refund of your party’s entrance fees’

  11. Pedr Barfog says:

    Thought number 2:
    Proposed rule “Don’t leave dogs unattended at any time.”

    When I first noted that dogs would not be allowed in buildings, I wondered if you would be providing hooks etc at entrances to (for example) the glasshouse. From this rule, I assume you will not be providing such fastenings, as handlers will not be able to tie up their charges while they go in to any building…even for a short time to get a cuppa or use facilities such as toilets? For couples/families etc, I assume this is workable, as one person would simply have to stay outside with the dog at any one time – perhaps this implication for individuals could be made more explicit, as a sole handler is effectively unable to use or visit any of the buildings, including toilet facilities.

    I cannot think of any toilet facilities which would be available to a sole handler – perhaps this needs clarification / acknowledgment?

  12. Pedr Barfog says:

    Thought number 3 – on proposed rule: “Dogs are not permitted to enter any buildings or structures (including glasshouses, restaurant and shop) on site or the children’s play area.”

    I would suggest that this rule needs to explicitly include the courtyard in its prohibition – many people eat here, and it would be unacceptable for dogs to be allowed into this environment. Even where responsible owners/handlers deal with their dog’s faeces, few seem to worry about them urinating. Dog urine running under & between the tables in the courtyard would definitely stop me from using the area.

    If/when the maize maze is set up (and other areas where children are encouraged to play – and even crawl on the grass), this needs to be a dog-free area – even if this upset those families who have both children and dogs.

  13. Wendy Mcloughlin says:

    I think it is a brilliant idea to open the gardens for our pets. Being that people who use the garden either have to pay an entrance fee or have membership, this should safeguard the use of the gardens. I do think though that it should be compulsory on this day that all pet owners should keep their dog on the lead and not leave them free to roam. This will safeguard any threat to small children as well as make sure owners have total control over their pets and no excuse to clean up after them. I hope there will be many more days for our little poochies to be allowed into the gardens.

    If necessary, I’m sure the gardens can have wardens on these occassions to make sure all goes well.

  14. Bruce says:

    It’s worth pointing out that we’re only running this as a one day trial on Saturday 9th March. There is no suggestion, or intention, that allowing dogs in will become permanent.