Council launches Walk Safely campaign

24th May 2024

Walk Safely 3

As the summer months approach, providing better walking conditions, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has launched a Walk Safely campaign to ensure everyone can enjoy the outdoors and the benefits walking.

The Walk Safely campaign aims to raise awareness about safe walking practices including responsible dog ownership such as keeping dogs under control near livestock, walking dogs on a lead and cleaning up after your dog; keeping to public roads and paths and never entering a field with livestock; following the seven principles of ‘leave no trace’; and being aware of and avoiding contact with blue green algae and invasive species such as Giant Hogweed.

Commenting on the importance of the campaign, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Cllr Thomas O’ Reilly, said,

“Walking is a simple, free way of getting more physically active and is ideal for people of all ages and fitness levels. The Council is committed to improving the lives and wellbeing of our communities. As more people get out walking in the summer months, we urge people to follow these safe walking practices so everyone can enjoy the array of beautiful walks around our district area and the benefits of walking.”

When out walking, people are requested and encouraged to:

Keep dogs under control and clean up after your dog

Dogs must be kept under control at all times. This includes when near livestock. Dog worrying of livestock includes a dog attacking or killing an animal, chasing livestock and causing serious stress which results in suffering to the animal. Cattle can become aggressive when distressed, particularly those with young calves, and this can pose a threat to people’s safety.
Dog owners are advised to walk their dogs on a lead and ensure their dog/dogs are kept under control at all times. The Council offers two dog parks in the district, located at Henry Street, Enniskillen and Arleston Park, Omagh, to provide a secure space for dog owners to exercise their pets off lead. Dog owners are responsible for how their dog behaves and they should make sure that interactions with other dogs and people are safe.

Dog owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their dog. Dog fouling is unhygienic and creates a health hazard as dog faeces can contain a number of things which can make people ill or can even cause blindness. Dog waste can be placed in any public litter bin or in household black or green residual waste bins.

Keep to public roads and paths

Keep to public roads and paths and never enter a field with livestock. Walking through open areas with livestock can cause distress to animals and endanger humans.

Follow the seven principles of ‘Leave No Trace’

These principles encourage people to dispose of waste properly, respect wildlife and farm animals, leave what you find (nature), be careful with fire, plan ahead and prepare, be considerate of others and travel and camp on durable ground.

Be aware of, and avoid contact, with Giant Hogweed and blue green algae

Giant hogweed usually grows in damp soils such as riverbanks and if contact occurs it can cause blistering and swelling on skin.

Blue green algae is a naturally occurring organism which can be found in loughs, rivers and ponds and is most prevalent from May to September. When in bloom it can produce toxins which pose a health risk to humans and animals. It is recommended that humans and pets avoid contact with the affected water and shorelines.

Further information is available on the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council website at To find out more about a range of walking opportunities, trails, and routes within the district, a set of 46 walking cards which include an overview of the route, points of interest, distance, route type, grade, and facilities is available to download from the Council website by searching for ‘Walk Cards’.