Walking with dogs
The Pentland Hills Regional Park is a place for everyone, including four-legged companions. With a little foresight and planning, you and your dog can enjoy a walk in the hills with little impact on the place that you love so well.
Most of the Regional Park is used for sheep-farming, and is inhabited by wildlife including deer. For this reason we ask that you keep your dog on a lead unless you are absolutely certain that it will not run off if distracted by a scent. This includes in Bonaly Country Park, bordered by sheep grazing, where there have been numerous incidents of dogs chasing deer (an offence). Harlaw Reservoir is surrounded by crop fields which are at risk of damage from trampling and dog excrement, and also has sheep and cattle grazing near by.
Hillend Country Park is particularly popular with professional dog-walkers; please bear in mind that this means there could be numerous dogs off the lead. There is a concern about disturbance to wildlife here as well.
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code sets out the guidance which applies to dog owners. Please make sure you are familiar with it, especially the section on livestock.
Legislation was updated in 2021 to increase penalties for owners of dogs alarming, chasing or attacking sheep - offenders face up to six months in jail or a £40,000 fine.
Be aware that blue-green algae can be present in any reservoir during or after warm weather - do not allow your dog to enter reservoirs if a bloom is present. Find out more about blue-green algae in the Regional Park here.