Due to Covid 19 restrictions and the 30 rule, Forestry England have cancelled all permissions for sled dog racing in England on their land leaving the Sled Dog clubs that we run with without venues for racing for 2020.
We are in the happy position of having five training venues available in the South West and Wales with a mixture of private land, National Resource of Wales and Forestry England who have issued training permits. We are fortunate to be able pick and choose where we train and we have been enjoying lots of Autumn runs, building up distance and fitness using a mixture of the heavier Rowerland passenger rig the lighter 3 wheel cudos training rig and the bike.
We are hoping that the treks with AMWA after Christmas will still happen as they take place private land. Paws crossed!
Temperatures are now regularly sensible for lots of lovely runs, all our forests are now open and we feel spoilt for choice for venues! The race season is still looking 'interesting' , there is a full sled dog race event diary in the UK and we are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
The worst isn't actually that bad at all, as long as we are still able to run dogs. We don't train to race, we just run dogs and if there is a new venue we fancy doing and we feel like we want to be social than we go. We are very lucky to have five different trainings venues, some hard packed and hilly, some sandy and grassy with hills, and some flat and grassy, we like to run a mixture to keep things interesting and fun for the dogs. We are planning to travel to a different venue every weekend and camp over in our newly finished dog van and during the week train locally.
With having the pups we want to introduce them to new, exciting and safe experiences to help them become contented happy dogs and it would be nice to get them to some races after Christmas to experience the atmosphere and of course we will starting to train them in harness too so lots to look forward to!
We have had a busy few weeks with the exciting additions of two new family members, sisters Magpie, Bifrost Magpie's Myth and Lark, Bifrost Little Night Lark. We are looking forward to sharing their journey as they become adult sleddogs and team members.
Meanwhile, we have be training when temperatures allow on Salisbury Plain, lots of free runs, and we had a camping adventure at Lechlade by the Thames with AMWA and enjoyed lots of chilling, long walks for dogs and kayaking for the humans.
Happily we now have permits back after a long lockdown so we have our local forest back to train and Pembrey Forest in Wales, just waiting for the Forestry England sites now but our main forests are back so we are excited for temperatures to drop further.
We aren't sure what is happening with races for the forthcoming season due to Covid-19 restrictions but whatever happens we are excited to just get out there and run dogs in our beautiful forests and training puppies is so much fun so lots to look forward to.
While we were away camping we celebrated Laika's 9th Birthday. Happy Birthday sweetheart.
Dogs have been enjoying runs along Salisbury Plain, lots of wildlife and wide open trails unlike most other trails in the UK, make for some excellent training and it's all doing us good getting out when temperatures allow. Temperatures are starting to look borderline for us down here so we will take advantage of any cooler snaps that hopefully will come our way.
Recently we have had some socially distanced company whilst training and we had a couple of handsome guests on our last run, with Nico and Forest in wheel position in the above photos. In other 'news' we have just had our ladies Pickle and Zinny finish their seasons and celebrated Cassidy squidgy's 9th birthday with home made mackerel cake!
Due to Covid 19 our Forestry commission training areas are closed, our local private training forest is also closed, Wales is closed for outside travel and combined with not being able to travel a long distance meant that we had to be content with the local 5 acre free run field and bikejor, two dogs at a time in the local wood which has actually been quite fun and a new venue with lots of turns to keep things fresh for the dogs, we can only get up to 2 miles of trails but better than nothing and it was very quick and no pedalling required! Dogs have been happy with that and we even had a lockdown birthday with Pickle's 6th birthday with cuddles and sardine cake.
We do have Salisbury Plain as a training option too, which doesn't require a permit to run but is a good 50 minute drive, and with the Government restrictions on travel we didn't feel comfortable travelling. However the Government lifted restrictions recently to allow for unlimited distance travel for exercise (in England only and no overnight stays) so we took advantage of the cooler temperatures to go out for some smashing runs as the sun was rising. Humans and dogs were very happy and content and we now hope to go out as much as temperatures allow, following government guidelines. The lockdown has meant we are busier than ever with Matt working as part of the military Covid Support Force and I have continued to work from home for the Charity.
Before lockdown we usually spent our weekends camping and running dogs, however, the lockdown has given us the opportunity to have the time to finally finish off the human side of the husky bus with only the bed to be added and kitchen area to be finished. We will be ready for adventures when we are allowed, which will be much welcomed by us all!