4 Paws, 2 legs and wheels

4paws2legs

Banyule's parks and reserves - particularly around the Banyule Flats Wetlands and Warringal Park provide much needed open space for dog owners, runners, cyclists and walkers. Here are their stories.

BANYULE DOG WALKERSby Shirley B.

Every day and long into the evenings, people enjoy using the parklands for dog walking.  The short grass around the ovals is ideal for walking in summer when the danger of snakes means dogs must be exercised away from the river and from the long grass.

In winter, stalwart dog walkers puff clouds of breath into the cool air at night as they are often the only people wandering about after dark with their four legged companions.  Hardy cyclists race by keeping their bodies warm with action while the dog walkers wrap up in coats and scarves and this means a winter wardrobe for their dogs often too.

In winter, dog walkers can explore wide expanses of parkland and take their furry companions down to the river to wade in the cool water.  The majority of dog walkers are such regular visitors to the Banyule walks that they hold these trails very dear.

On many days, walkers have spotted platypus in the river, wombats, kangaroos and koalas.  Being animal lovers, dog walkers generally are responsible and keen to protect the wildlife, knowing from their many walks, just where they may be encountered.

Dog walkers form community.  From being regularly in the parklands, groups often walk and get to know each other.  Empathy for someone who has lost a beloved pet, or advice for someone with a puppy can be shared experiences.   

They say that many people meet their partner by dog walking.  It is so much easier to have a conversation when a dog is in the middle of the subject.  And if the dogs get on as well, it can be a blending of fur families!

Every year, the dog walkers meet in the park, in front of the tennis courts for a Christmas in the dog park picnic.  Everyone with a dog is welcome and new comers can meet regulars and enjoy discovering a bit more about locals in the community.  In spring there is sometimes another picnic which was dubbed, The Annual Banyule Spring Canine-Avil.

For some, the dog is the best reason to keep exercising.  A dog will take the owner for a walk every day if it can persuade the owner off the couch.  This is a great way for people to continue walking and getting fresh air.  The parklands offer both on lead and off lead areas where an owner can walk for health and the dog can be exercised. 

Dogs that are rarely exercised can develop problem behaviour.  A dog that is socialized and is regularly walked is less likely to be an aggressive dog and will be less likely to have barking problems from boredom.  Banyule's parklands make this a great place for a dog and their owner to live!

Dog Lover With Her Companions

 

Cycling in Banyule

Many families enjoy the extensive trails around Banyule Flats, they also form a particularly pictureseque section of the Yarra Trail. For a map of the main Yarra Trail ride from Kew to Banyule Flats follow the link.

 Australia Day Pinic In The Park Bike Riders

Walking and running in Banyule

Banyule wetlands and Warringal Park are fantastic places for a leasurley walk or a more energetic run. The views across the open spaces are amazing and one can hardly believe that this oasis is a mere 10 kms from the CBD. Our community treasures this place and we are envied by many who have to come from further afar in Melbourne to enjoy our parklands.

I use a tracking system to calculate my running distance in the absence of a GPS app now used by many runners for their training. Follow this link to calculate your running or walking distance for an alternative to an app.

A great way to discover the area is along the Heidelberg Artists Trail. Follow the link to download a map for the Heidelberg School Artists Trail (Heidelberg and Bulleen Section).

Heidelberg Artists Trail

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