We were delighted to host our fourth Tail Trails event on Saturday 2nd March at the beautiful Witton Country Park near Blackburn in Lancashire.
Dogs must be on a lead at all times. This is to ensure our furry friends do not provoke livestock or impact on habitats and gives assurance to local landowners, farmers, the local community, stakeholders and insurers – without whose support we cannot organise events like this.
Entries: Entries (for adult humans over the age of 16) is £7.50 for the shorter (5km) course and £11.50 for the longer (10km) course, plus the eventbrite booking fee. Children (under 16) are £6.00 and £4.00 respectively (plus the eventbrite booking fee). Under 16’s must be under the supervision of/accompanied by an adult at all times. Dogs are free. Please note it is a maximum of 2 dogs per human. We can only accept entries on the day if there are spaces. Please note we cannot provide refunds for any cancellations within 7 days of the event.
What do entries include: This is a professionally organised event organised in conjunction with local landowners. Entry cost includes special post-event dog fun and ‘dog agility style’ doggy challenges which could earn you and your hound a prize! The routes and dog challenges are fully signposted, marshaled and risk-assessed. There will be at least one manned refreshment station en-route and at the finish. All entrants will be given an official race number and times and results from the dog challenges will be posted ASAP after the event. There are prizes for winners of the various classes and spot prizes for other fun things! We believe this dog-focussed event is a great opportunity to meet and socialise with other dog owners. It is a relaxed friendly environment where you and your dog can be as competitive as you wish (or not at all…!).
Car parking: There is a large pay and display car park at the entrance to the country park. The charges are 50p for 2 hours, £1.50 all day.
Event location and registration opening times: The event HQ is located near the pavillion cafe. Please do not arrive earlier than you need to as per the registration and start times below depending on which event you are registering for. Follow the directional signs when you arrive at the main car park near the area.
Start times (please note these are slightly later than originally advertised):
Longer Tail Trail (10km)
Walkers: There will be a mass walkers start at 11.30. Please register between 11.00-11.15 at event HQ.
Runners/joggers: There will be a mass runners/joggers start at 12.00 for those wishing to take part ‘with the pack’. For those who whose dogs who prefer to ‘do things solo’ then solo runners/joggers are welcome to start anytime between 12.00-12.05. Please register between 11.30-11.45 at event HQ.
Shorter Tail Trail (5km)
Walkers: There will be a mass walkers start at 12.15. Please register between 11.45-12.00 at event HQ.
Runners/joggers: There will be a mass runners start at 12.30 for those wishing to take part ‘with the pack’. For those who whose dogs who prefer to ‘do things solo’ then solo runners/joggers are welcome to start anytime between 12.30-12.35. Please register between 12.00-12.15 at event HQ.
The routes: Planned route maps can be found here. We are not uploading GPX files this time as some sections of the route may be subject to last minute tweaks/alterations depending on weather conditions.
Doggy challenges: When you get back to the HQ then you can then enter the dog challenges section where your dog can take on some fun challenges and win a prize for taking part. It is really all just a bit of daft fun for you and your dog!
Directions: You are advised to park at the main car park adjacent to the Witton Arena and it is a few minute stroll to the Pavillion Cafe where event HQ is from this car park. Directions to Witton Country Park can be found here: http://www.blackburn.gov.uk/Pages/Witton-Country-Park-.aspx
Food and refreshments: Food and refreshments can be purchased at the park cafe.
Prizes and results: There will be some silly/fun prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places of both trails and additional small prizes for the dogs who do the best on the dog challenges at the end of the trails. Results will be posted ASAP after the event.
Note for Walkers: Please that there will be a ‘stand down’ time for some marshalls on the 10km route. This time will be sufficient for a walking speed of 3 miles per hour. If you decide on the day that you want to relax, stroll a bit or take longer then that is fine, but please note there will be less marshalls on the route after this time. The route markers will still be in place. Please check in with us at HQ when you return so we know you are back safe and sound.
Kit: Both trails are a mixture of forest track and off-road cross country trails with muddy sections, loose sections and some steep slopes. All competitors must wear appropriate footwear (either trail/fell running shoes for runners or appropriate boots/fell shoes for walkers) and have waterproofs as appropriate. Please keep an eye on the forecast and come prepared for the conditions of the day. We reserve the right to ask participants to wear additional warm clothing (e.g. tights or long sleeve base layer etc) to be worn or carried dependent on the weather conditions on the day, so please come prepared for a kit check.
Water stations: There will be a ‘half way’ water station on the route for dogs and humans but all participants must carry their own bottle. There are some snacks available that can be purchased from the café but you are advised to bring food to your own tastes.
Marshaling: The routes will be signed, waymarked and marshaled, but you are ultimately responsible for yourself and your dog(s). There are some short road sections and you must use common sense at all times and adhere to the highway code.
Dogs at HQ: Dogs are welcome in the cafe and HQ, as long as they are on leads.
Volunteers: We needs as many volunteers as possible to make it a great event so if you would like to volunteer or marshal at the event please do contact us via our facebook group or email email@example.com. We are very keen for as many marshals as we can and we will thank you with treats, hugs, food/tea/coffee and a free entry to either our future Tail Trails events.
Vet Support: If any participant needs veterinary support we can provide contact details of local vets on the day. Any vet call out costs must be borne by the participant.
Bad weather: If there is particularly poor weather forecast we may choose to make a last minute decision to revise the routes to shorter distances on the day. Only with a very bad or extreme weather forecast would we decide to cancel the event and re-schedule. We will make this decision no later than Thursday 24th January at 6pm and a refund or transfer to future event will be offered if this happens. Keep an eye on facebook for latest updates.
Who’s is it for? Anyone. Dogs (and humans) of all ages, shapes, sizes and breeds are welcome to come and compete and take part in what is a unique event where the emphasis is very much on fun. It is the owners responsbility to ensure their dog is capable of completing the distance they sign up for. Any children under 16 must be under the supervision of an adult at all times. We would suggest that the long route is only suitable for children over the age of 10, and the short route only suitable for over 5’s, but we leave that decision to the parents who are ultimately responsible for safety and wellbeing of the child.
Considerate event management: We are proud to be organising our event in conjunction with the Balckburn and Darwen Council, local farmers, landowners and residents.It is really important that our canine (and human) friends don’t disturb lambing sheep, local residents, wildlife habitats and birds who have travelled thousands of miles to nest in this beautiful area. Our event is all about having the best fun possible with your dog in a responsible manner and on a lead – as a team!
There is a booking fee to use this system. If you would prefer to avoid the eventbrite booking fee we can also accept cheques. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to take this option and we will send you details.
General Event Rules