Search and rescue dog teams training at Panshanger Park

Search Dogs Buckinghamshire has started a new training season for its search and rescue dogs at Panshanger Park.  

Search Dogs Buckinghamshire has started a new training season for its search and rescue dogs at Panshanger Park. - Credit: Supplied by Tarmac

Search and rescue dogs have been spotted at Panshanger Park.

But it's nothing to be alarmed about. Tails are wagging as Search Dogs Buckinghamshire start a new training season for their search and rescue dogs at the park situated between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford.

Panshanger Park was chosen as an additional venue for training because it offers large open spaces of parkland as well as woodland.

This contrasts with Search Dogs Bucks' other training sites that are almost completely woodland.

Jenny Anstey, treasurer of Search Dogs Buckinghamshire, said: “Any search is always an emergency, and our volunteers are ready to look for missing people at any time of the day or night, in all weathers.

“Everyone in a dog team receives specialist training and must pass rigorous nationally-accredited assessments before they can be deployed on live searches.

“We are really grateful to the team at Panshanger Park for letting us train our dogs in such a beautiful setting and appreciate the designated parking area we’ve been given.”

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Since forming in 2008, the Lowland Rescue dog team has been working with the police and other search teams to find vulnerable missing persons across Buckinghamshire and nearby counties.

Trained search dog teams are self-sufficient units that carry the latest equipment and communications, and can mobilise quickly in times of need.

Panshanger Park is owned and managed by Tarmac, who are working in partnership with Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust to open the historic landscape to the public.

Day to day management of the park is undertaken by Maydencroft, who are working on behalf of Tarmac.

“It is a privilege to host Search Dogs Buckinghamshire, who carry out vital work in the community,” said Jez Perkins, estates manager for Maydencroft.

Search Dogs Buckinghamshire is a registered charity with 20 operational members, and 10 in training along with their dogs.

It takes an average of two years to train a dog and handler to full qualification level.

Visit www.searchdogsbucks.org.uk to find out more about the charity, its mission and work.