Why set up Activity Trails - “We wanted to do more than create a memorial”
Julia wanted to do something different than create a memorial. Julia said “We felt there was a need for something more practical that dog owners and walkers could physically connect to and gain some sort of feeling for how much these dogs did, and still do, for us. We wanted to do something that people and their dogs could enjoy but had a connection to War Dogs’.
The idea for an activity trail came originally from a friend of Julia’s, Caroline Kisko. Caroline introduced Julia to Stephen Jenkinson, who is an expert at building these trails and the project begun. From that original inception, to competition of the first (we hope of many) activity trails, has taken 5 years.
That idea was truly inspired, it ticked every box! It was just the perfect message, to create something that people can take their dogs to, have fun, and then to have each of the trails dedicated to a specific dog with a plaque telling that dog’s story of how they served us during the war.
Julia also wanted people to gain further respect for their own wonderful dogs, to hear about what these incredible, often pet dogs, did for us then, and now! “The whole trail is based on fun and learning as a way of honouring these dogs and to make us realise how lucky we are that our lovely, gentle companions have given so much to keep us safe. And that some have paid the ultimate price for their service.”
We are so excited to launch the first of many trails in Windsor, it’s right in the heart of the Broom Farm Army Estate in 8 acres of wonderful parkland, so it will be an enriching place for soldiers and their families to go. It’s open to the general public and their dogs to enjoy as well. Following the trail and trying out the obstacles will provide a great opportunity for owners to really connect with their dogs.
Looking at our first site in Windsor, it was worth the 5 year wait. It is such a perfect site, and the build of the trail by Groundworks UK, based on Stephen Jenkinson’s safe and robust designs, are wonderful.