Skip to main content
East Devon Pebblebed Heaths
a Special Area of Protection, Special Conservation Area, National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest
A photograph of some people walking on the heaths

Visiting with your dog? Here’s some info on doggy do’s and doggy doodoos If you like to enjoy the Pebblebed Heaths with a canine companion, the Dog Code highlights simple ways that you can help look after the landscape and the wildlife it supports. By following this code and encouraging others to do the same, you can be sure that you are enjoying this special place in a way that respects other visitors, habitat and wildlife.  

The front cover of the Pebblebed Heaths Dog Code



Rare heathland birds, such as Dartford warbler and nightjar, nest on the ground or in low scrub close to paths. Dogs can disturb birds, flushing them from the nest, leaving eggs or chicks vulnerable.  Help avoid disturbance by sticking to the main tracks and keeping your dog in sight and out of the vegetation.

Do train your dog to have good recall, or keep it on a lead. If you can see your dog, you know it’s safe and you can see what it’s up to! Some people are frightened of dogs, so ask before letting your dog approach and don’t let it jump up. Some dogs need space, and horse riders and cyclists need extra consideration too.

Adders are often found on heathlands and they may be active on a sunny day, even in winter. Keeping your dog close and out of the vegetation will reduce the chance of it spotting an adder before you do.

Dog mess carries pathogens dangerous to humans, livestock and your dog. Some stay in the soil for many years. If left on the ground, it will enrich the soil leading to the loss of unique heathland flora (which depends on low nutrient soils) . Please pick up to keep this green space purple! There are dog bins in every car park, but if you can’t find one, please take it home.

It can be tempting to leave bagged dog waste by the side of the track to collect on your return journey, but please keep it with you instead - even the best of us forget sometimes and seeing doggy bags can retract from the sense of wilderness the heaths provide for so many other visitors.