While you may have been informed about this from elsewhere, your help was so valuable to this project that I wanted to be certain you directly got a copy of the just published final reports on the Commercial Dog Walker (CDW) workshops and research.
Quite apart from the outcomes for Scotland, there’s worldwide interest in what’s been done, as the both the survey data and this approach in general have not been attempted before in other countries. So we can all for sure be proud of showing innovation by working together in Scotland to reduce conflict for all concerned.
Thank you to SNH for funding this opportunity to be innovative, and to KC/SKC and Your Dog magazine for also supporting and endorsing it to help add credibility and avoid suspicion of the motives.
Please do feel free to circulate these widely to get the most benefit from them.
While I’m not aware of any further planned SNH actions on the issue of CDW, now that the reports have been formally published I will be taking the findings forward in my ongoing work as access advisor to the Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club, as they are keen that this work continues, to result in improvements on the ground.
As a first stage, I’m now working on a national Code of Practice (COP) for CDW which will set out what responsible, professional dog walking looks like; this will address access taking issues as well as welfare issues for the dogs (such as how they are transported) and relationships with CDW clients.
In September/October 2015 we’ll be sending out a questionnaire to get the views of access and land managers on CDW issues, to complement the data we now have from the CDW as a result of the workshops.
If you or any partners or colleagues (in Scotland or across the UK) would like to contribute views and experiences in confidence to that process via an on-line questionnaire, please email me at: email@example.com to indicate your interest. Feel free to forward this email accordingly.
Once the COP is produced, this will then be used to underpin the KC’s training and accreditation scheme for CDW. The KC/SKC are also keen this is used to support access authorities and land managers to show when a fair and balanced approach is being taken that has the support of the canine community.
You may also recall that participant information was collected at each workshop, giving local data on CDW activity, and opt-ins to be contacted again by local councils. While I’m not in a position to release that myself for contractual reasons, these data have been cleaned and anonymised as required and provided to SNH. I suggest you contact Theresa Kewell for any more information on that data: Theresa.Kewell@snh.gov.uk
Please do let me know of any experiences you have with CDW related work, in confidence if need be, so we can further refine best practice to reduce conflict for all concerned.
Once again, thank you so much for your help with this project. This really could not have been done without you.
Stephen JenkinsonAccess and Countryside Management CurlewsDeernessOrkneyKW17 2QJ t: 01856 898098m: 07973 721685e: firstname.lastname@example.org: www.sjacm.co.ukSummary Guidance on creating positive opportunities to engage with commercial dog walkers Stephen Jenkinson 2015Commercial Dog Walkers in the Outdoors_ Attitudes, Engagement and Opportunities _Stephen Jenkinson