Join Chris Packham for the Great British Dog Walk at Buckler's Hard, Beaulieu

Naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham will be at Buckler’s Hard near Beaulieu, Hampshire on 13 April to officially launch the Great British Dog Walk on behalf of national charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. He will be joined by hundreds of dog walkers, who are expected to gather on the day to raise funds to transform the lives of deaf adults and children.
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The walk, which is supported by Specsavers audiology businesses, is among 12 similar events to be held in picturesque locations across the UK, including the Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, as one of the charity’s key annual fundraisers.

On the day there will be two walk options – either 7.5km or 4km routes, making it ideal for dog owners, families, single walkers, organised walking groups and those who simply want to meet lots of dogs and get a bit of exercise for a good cause.

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There will also be fun additional activities, including a fun dog show and a tombola. The venue has a museum and those taking part in the Great British Dog Walk are eligible for a 20% discount. A free dog bandana will be included with every adult ticket.

Chris walking with Sid and NancyChris walking with Sid and Nancy
Chris walking with Sid and Nancy

Gill Yeates, Head of Community Fundraising for Hearing Dogs, said that the Great British Dog Walk, now in its ninth year, had proved to be one of the charity’s most popular fundraising events.

“It’s a fun way to get out in the fresh air at some stunning venues and spend time with friends and family, while at the same time raising money for a great cause”, she said.

“By taking part and being sponsored, you'll be one of hundreds raising funds to create amazing hearing dog partnerships that make a real difference to a deaf person's life.

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Carina Hummel, Managing Director at Specsavers Audiology, which sponsors the Great British Dog Walk, said: “This is an excellent way for people to have fun, get some exercise, meet like-minded people and perhaps most importantly, meet lots of cute dogs while supporting a good cause.

Ann with her husband Malcolm and hearing dog TeganAnn with her husband Malcolm and hearing dog Tegan
Ann with her husband Malcolm and hearing dog Tegan

“If every person who took part in the Great British Dog Walk raised just £10 by getting themselves or their dog sponsored, the charity could train another dog to alert deaf people to important and life-saving sounds that they would otherwise miss and help them to leave loneliness behind.

“We’re so proud of our involvement in the Great British Dog Walk and the fact that it helps to transform the lives of deaf people. We’re very much looking forward to the walks and hope lots of people in each area will come along and show their support.”

Anyone taking part in the Buckler’s Hard walk will be helping to train a hearing dog puppy who will go on to change the life of someone like Anne Pickett from Fleet with her hearing dog Tegan.

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Ann lost her hearing when she had surgery to remove a brain tumour. She said: “As well as the hearing loss, I was left with a facial palsy. The facial palsy and the hearing loss were really major obstacles. People didn’t want to ask me what was wrong with me, but you could see they didn’t want to talk to me because something was not quite right, and that made me feel so alone.

“Going out on my own became a real challenge, and I gradually stopped doing it. My husband Malcolm actually took early retirement because of my condition. He didn’t want to go out and leave me at home because he knew I got depressed. He just became my carer.”

“Tegan helps me in so many ways. She wakes me up in the morning when the alarm goes and alerts me to the doorbell. Most of all she’s given me the confidence to go out in public. She’s enhanced my life, and that of my husband, beyond measure.

Tickets to the Great British Dog Walk are £12 in advance or £15 on the day, and while sponsorship would be appreciated to help Hearing Dogs train more life-changing dogs, it is not essential. To sign-up, or to find your nearest walk, visit