DOGS and their owners are being encouraged to explore National Trust places for dog days out, with the arrival of the new Pooch Passport.

Launched in partnership with natural pet food maker Forthglade, the Pooch Passport has been unveiled exclusively at 29 National Trust sites, including Mottisfont near Romsey, Hinton Ampner near Alresford, The Vyne near Basingstoke, and Uppark near Petersfield.

The venues were selected for having two-pawprint or three-pawprint ratings, which means that they provide good or very good facilities for visiting dogs.

Hampshire Chronicle: Dog walks with the National TrustDog walks with the National Trust (Image: Chris Lacey)

This includes dog-washing areas, drinking stations, dog zones in cafés, waste bins and downloadable walks for dog walkers.

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From the beginning of September to the end of February, dogs can have their Pooch Passports stamped. Once they have collected unique stamps from six different places they’ll receive a special Forthglade treat.

Hampshire Chronicle: Eyeing up the treatsEyeing up the treats (Image: Paul Harris)

National Trust dogs welcome project manager, Ceinwen Paynton, said: “We’re delighted to be able to say ‘thank you’ to our dog-loving supporters in London and the South East with our Pooch Passport, developed in partnership with Forthglade.

“We know how much it means to people to be able to bring their dogs when they visit our places and not leave them home alone. Our paw print rating makes it easy to plan a visit with your dog, and the Pooch Passport provides the perfect reason to explore new places with them.

“However, we’re also aware that not everyone loves dogs. Our Pooch Passport includes Canine Code tips to help dogs and their owners behave responsibly and courteously, and the access information provided by the pawprint rating will be of help to all our visitors.”

Romsey resident Walter, a wire-haired dachshund, and its owner Pam Smith were two of the first to snap up a Pooch Passport, at their local National Trust place, Mottisfont.

Hampshire Chronicle: Walter with its Pooch Passport at MottisfontWalter with its Pooch Passport at Mottisfont (Image: National Trust, Pam Smith)

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Pam said: "As a relatively new dog owner I've discovered that Mottisfont’s ideal for exercising and playing with my young dachshund Walter. We feel very welcome there; there’s loads of dog-friendly space to roam in - on the lead of course – water bowls, and cafe access for when I want a drink or we need to shelter from the rain. The Pooch Passport is a great idea and it'll definitely get us exploring further afield.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Duck with its Pooch Passport at MottisfontDuck with its Pooch Passport at Mottisfont (Image: National Trust, Ellen Turner)

Two other canines who have picked up their Pooch Passports are members of the Mottisfont team, Taito and Duck.

Their owner and Mottisfont business services coordinator, Ellen Turner, said: “This is actually Duck’s first visit as she’s still quite young at seven months, but now we have our Passports the three of us will be exploring further afield. It’s a great way for Duck to develop her socialising skills with dogs and people as well as having plenty of fun.”

Mottisfont has a three pawprint rating while the other Hampshire sites have a pawprint rating of two.

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