Scruffts to return to Westonbirt Arboretum

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Scruffts to return to Westonbirt Arboretum

Scruffts - the show that celebrates the canine species in all their glorious cross-breeds - is returning to The National Arboretum, Westonbirt for the second year in a row.

Organised by the Kennel Club, Scruffts is the nation's favourite annual cross-breed competition, and its just one of many fun events for dogs and their owners at the arboretum's Dog Days weekend on February 17 and 18, 2007.

Dogs entering this year's Scruffts competition have their work cut out for them. Last year the winner of the Westonbirt heat, a pooch named Dylan who was owned by Mandy Blake from Portishead, went on to be the overall national champion.

Over the weekend visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of doggie displays and have-a-go sessions in the event arena, including search and rescue dogs and police dogs from RAF Lineham. Some canine cousins will also be present in the Wolf Enclosure and visitors will be able to pet these special guests in exchange for a small donation towards the UK Wolf Conservation Trust.

Dog lovers will be able to purchase all sorts of goodies for their pet in two exhibitor marquees, and all dogs will be keen to go on the 'Follow Your Nose' woodland trail. Unlike us, dogs use their noses to explore the world around them. Indeed their noses are packed with more than 220 million smell receptors, compared to our measly 5 million. On the way round the special trail walkers will find a variety of scented trees each with their own smelly tale to tell and the answers to a cryptic quiz. Everyone who completes the course will be entered into a prize draw to win a portrait of their pooch by animal artist Julie Stooks, who's exhibiting at the show.

For fitness fans there is also the latest craze in aerobic workouts - called Cani-cross racing, which is running with your dog, something that will keep you both healthier. The Forestry Commission is focusing on the physical and mental health benefits of walking and exercising with dogs for its Active Woods campaign in 2007. Walkies in the Woods aims to encourage dogs and dog walkers to explore the health benefits of woodland Ė and Cani-cross offers is a great way to get fit and have fun with your dog.

Kellie Lovett, marketing manager at Westonbirt, said: "We are very much looking forward to welcoming all dogs and their owners to Westonbirt in February as we had such a wonderful time at the last show.

"We had upwards of 4,000 visitors in 2006, so if you're a dog lover you just canít miss it. The pooches bring such a different dimension to the arboretum and really bring it to life."

Scruffts is hosted on Sunday 18th and is run in support of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Dogs are judged on good character, health and temperament with people and other dogs in four separate classes.

Dog owners are reminded that Scruffts is a competition for cross-breed dogs - pedigree dogs, therefore, are not eligible for entry. Dogs must be older than 6 months and less than 12 years old to enter. Entry to each class is £1, with all money raised going to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

Scruffts rosettes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each class. Only 1st-place winners in each class will be eligible for the final in November at the Discover Dogs event at Earls Court 2 in London.

For further information about Scruffts, call the Scruffts hotline, 020 7518 1012, between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, or contact The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB.

Admission charges to the arboretum apply: £6 adults; £5 concessions; £2 children (5 to 18).

Posted : 10/01/2007 01:08:36

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