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Dogs Trust sniffs its way into Hampton Court

Dogs Trust designs a ‘secret’ garden for dogs at Hampton Court Flower Show

Paws will be padding into Hampton Court Palace Flower Show next month (July 5th-10th) as Dogs Trust - the UK’s largest dog welfare charity - unveils the show’s first ever garden designed especially with dogs in mind. Celebrating the charity’s 125th year, the garden marks Dogs Trust’s commitment to finding loving homes for thousands of abandoned dogs every year.

Designed by acclaimed designer Paul Hervey-Brooks and entitled ‘A Dog’s Life’, the garden
will be a space for both people and dogs to enjoy together with dog friendly features woven into the fabric of the garden without dominating the design.

The garden is inspired by the charity’s sensory space at its West London rehoming centre, which provides exciting areas to forage, exercise and explore and aims to enrich the lives of the dogs in the charity’s care whilst they await new homes. Dogs Trust has created this garden to promote its rehoming efforts and to encourage more people to support the charity’s work. Many of the garden’s features, including the trees, pavilion, sculptures and some of the plants will be ‘rehomed’ at Dogs Trust West London for dogs and visitors to enjoy.

Dogs Trust’s garden will include the following features:

- Diverse planting to reflect the range of dogs you could meet at a Dogs Trust rehoming centre. The mix includes hybrid plants as a reference to the various dog breeds taken in and rehomed by the charity and perennial plants to reflect the charity’s promise to never put a healthy dog to sleep
- Sniffer tracks subtly marked out within the planting for dogs to discover and stop for a rest
- Tunnels in various sizes woven into the herbaceous borders for dogs to explore
- Two water features, including a large still rill representing the abandonment faced by stray dogs and another that provides running water for dogs to enjoy
- A snug pavilion located at the rear of the garden in which dogs and their human guests can survey the landscape. The durable materials used reflect the ‘forever home’ sought by dogs being looked after by Dogs Trust. A shadow of a dog and owner will be projected inside this structure
- An area for dogs to enjoy digging and trees that provide shelter and places to forage and search for toys and treats
- A modern mix of sculptures positioned in the large water rill and around the water will illustrate the playful character of dogs

Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust CEO says:

“We are thrilled to be at Hampton Court this year. Paul’s design works as a space that appeals to both human and canine senses and one that dogs and people can enjoy harmoniously. From secret sniffer tracks subtly weaved into rich herbaceous planting to the digging area and peaceful pavilion retreat, dogs of all shapes and sizes have been considered, which echoes the approach of every Dogs Trust rehoming centre.”

In the early 1900s, Dogs Trust, or the National Canine Defence League as it was known then, asked its members to organise a series of private shelters to care for stray dogs. These would often be set up in the members’ gardens, including one in Hampton itself, and became a refuge for dogs who would otherwise face an uncertain life on the streets. Fast forward to 2016 and Dogs Trust now runs 21 world-class rehoming centres catering for the needs of all dog breeds, so it seemed fitting to celebrate this with our own dog friendly garden at Hampton Court in our 125th year.

Adrian continues:

“We hope our garden encourages visitors to learn more about our rehoming work, whilst also inspiring people with subtle ways to make their own garden a welcoming space for dogs.”

Dogs Trust cares for 17,000 dogs every year through its network of rehoming centres in the UK and Ireland. For more information about Dogs Trust please visit


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