Knettishall Heath is a dog friendly nature reserve to visit. Please note; from 1st March - 31st July dogs must be kept on a short fixed lead within the heathland grazing enclosure to protect ground nesting birds. Read on to find out about maps and trails where dogs can be off lead, and about our community group Hounds of the Heath!
Welcome to Hounds of the Heath!
We are an informal group created by both Suffolk Wildlife Trust and local dog training group Dog Learning Zone, and now run by Suffolk Wildlife Trust. The group is a great way to get involved and be a part of the dog walking community at Knettishall.
Download our dog walkers' leaflet with trails:
We meet regularly for free doggy guided walks around Knettishall Heath with the ranger, exploring different paths each time. These walks are good fun, a chance to meet new people and discover more about the reserve and its wildlife.
The next walk is Sunday 21st October. We meet at 10.30am at the middle car park opposite the main heath, and walk for roughly an hour - just turn up!
Join the email list
The group also allows us to have a good communication network through email with members who visit the reserve. Email updates can include; upcoming events, site maintenance and activities that may be useful to know, and most importantly the livestock movements on site. Becoming a member is as simple as sending in your email address; so why not contact:
Help us look after Knettishall Heath
Hounds of the Heath members act very much as custodians of the heath as well, promoting responsible dog ownership, particularly around people and wildlife during ground nesting bird season. Many members will often email with wildlife sightings, or help us to look after the reserve by reporting fly tipping or fallen trees etc.
From 1st March to 31st July restrictions apply meaning dogs have to be kept on a short fixed lead on the open heaths to protect ground nesting birds and other breeding wildlife. The breeding season can often stretch into late August, and Hounds of the Heath have helped us to create a network of new trails away from the open heaths, accompanied by a leaflet for dog walkers to help make these clear. These new paths, particularly the white pine trail, offer areas where dogs can be off lead during the spring away from these sensitive areas. These trails are also outside of the grazing enclosure all year round for those who want to avoid the resident herd of Exmoor ponies. Help us to look after the heath by making use of these new trails during the spring and summer, and of course all year round as well!
We meet in the middle (free) car park opposite the main heath and walk for roughly an hour, no need to book, just turn up!
Dog waste bins are situated in all of the four car parks.
Exmoor ponies graze the reserve all year round and are used to roaming alongside dog walkers, but please keep your dog under control around livestock.
Look out for our traffic light paw print system on the reserve telling you when and where dogs need to be on a lead: