A NEW area for dog walking has been set up at 10 acres of woodland in Selby.

The Escrick Park Estate has designated the area, over the road from the main Sands Lane car park, to allow dogs to run free off their leads, as it is less sensitive for wildlife and grazing stock than the nearby Skipwith Common National Nature Reserve.

There is a circular trail through the woodland, which is fenced in to make it safer for free-running dogs, and the Escrick Park Estate hope this will prevent attacks on livestock on Skipwith Common by loose dogs.

Landowner Charlie Forbes Adam said: “Ewes and lambs will be released onto the Common from early April, to tackle the fresh young growth of scrub.

“We hope that dog owners will use the new dog-exercising area rather than the main part of Skipwith Common.

This dog-walking area indicates the estate’s commitment to managing this nationally important wildlife site for both wildlife and local communities to enjoy.”

Craig Ralston, senior reserve manager for Natural England, said: “Skipwith Common is a very special place and contains a host of amazing wildlife.

“It is vital that disturbance by free-roaming dogs in minimised to allow grazing stock to manage the open heathland landscape and suitable places for the many plants and animals that make their home on the common. We are grateful to Escrick Park Estate for catering for local dog walkers and finding a novel solution in providing alternative facilities.”