Sitting at the top of the list is Cornwall, one of the most beautiful places in the country, rural and coastal settings a plenty and a friendly atmosphere. Cornwall forms a peninsula with wild moorlands and many sandy beaches. The south coast of Cornwall is dubbed the Cornish riviera due to the climate and picturesque landscapes. Cornwall has a host of picturesque villages and seaside resorts
A small yet humble town in the borough of Wigan has made it onto our list due to the small population, low pollution and lack of traffic jams. The village has a population of less than 14,000 people making it a perfect place to settle.
3.The Lake District
One of the most beautiful places in the UK, it was always going to make it onto the list. A favourite for nationals and tourists the lake district is a region of Cumbria in the northwest of England. With a low pollution level and beautiful market towns such as Keswick, Kendal, Ambleside and Derwentwater. The lake district is a wonderful place to visit and live.
Wales made it on to the list due to the low levels of pollution and traffic free roads (mostly). Wales is a well known part of southwest Great Britain. With rugged coastlines and famous mountains located there. The celtic culture and welsh language is a draw for tourism.
5. Scottish Highlands
Home to famous loch Ness and many other famous attractions the Scottish Highland is a wonderful place to move to and relax, benefit from rural locations and lower house prices you can pick up a lot of real estate for a lower cost.
As you can tell the most relaxing places to live in the UK appear to be more rural locations, this goes to show that city life really does have an impact on our health and ability to de-stress. Not everyone will be able to move to the locations or may not even want to but a short visit to a rural location is proven to reduce stress and help relax. If you live in a busy area it can be a great way to relax with a rural weekend away.
Here are some ideas for different types of events if you are looking for some inspiration! All of these events have been run very successfully during past National Pet Weeks. It doesn’t matter how big or small your event is. Choose one that fits in with the amount of time, energy and resources you are able to dedicate to it.
However, make sure that you are promoting at least one of the aims of National Pet Week.
Horse Event (with or without dog agility demonstrations)
Educational event – providing advice to pet owners. Think about involving local vets, RSPCA, police dog training specialists, or dog wardens.
Pet display in local library/bookstore.
Church services for pets
Car Boot Sales
Pet exhibitions in local museums
Participation in established shows – if there is an established pet event going on in your area during National Pet Week, you could get involved, perhaps running a stall, or a mini-pet show.
Open Days/Evenings – Recovery Kennels, catteries and veterinary practices can invite the public to visit, offering information about services or talks about pets, animal first aid, etc.
All events can be run by one or a group of organisations. Events can either be charity fund-raising or proceeds can be used to cover costs (don’t forget National Pet Week!) Pet shows can be judged with prizes or purely educational giving the public the chance to learn about pets.
PLEASE NOTE: Animal Shows may need the approval of the relevant governing body, i.e. Dog Shows should be run under Kennel Club rules.
Overall Winner – BUPA Care Home – Court House Nursing Home, Malvern
The Court House Care Home in Malvern, Worcestershire, really showed how important animal best friends are with a fantastic – and emotional – National Pet Week packed with fun and furry activities. And it will not be a one-week wonder – residents and animals will continue to benefit from these friendships in weeks to come.
National Pet Week will be remembered happily by residents and staff who enjoyed meeting pets brought in by their owners. But that was not all. Activities themed around the benefits of pets to people and the need to keep pets responsibly also featured heavily during the Week.
After preparations were made to the home to ensure safety to the visiting animals, and that the kitchen area could be kept free from inquisitive canine (and equine!) visitors, on the Tuesday of National Pet Week residents enjoyed a visit from Benji the spaniel, himself a senior citizen – he usually visits with his ‘missus’ to see his ‘nan’ and didn’t need a lot of persuading to visit the other houses.
On Wednesday Hooche the collie (belonging to Nettie) visited. The residents on the Young Persons’ Unit wanted him to sit on their laps and he obliged, even though he is a big dog.
Holly the collie and Saffee the Heinz visited on Thursday – they came with Michelle, care assistant for Hollybush House. More cuddles on residents’ laps ensued!
On Friday (following a full risk assessment) Shetland ponies Truffles and Popcorn visited all the houses and even went indoors for those residents who were unable to go outside.
One gentleman who is blind and was visiting his wife was so thrilled to be able to put his arms round Truffles the pony and feel his warm body!
Harry the collie visited as well. Harry is the Home’s very own Pat Dog, and a particular friend of Midsummer House, who also visits the other houses regularly – including the Young Persons’ House where there is one particular resident who until recently only spoke to Harry.
There was also an animal quiz – 20 questions dreamt up by activity organiser Jackie while walking Harry, who did the draw of correct answers. But this was won by a rival canine – Guv, the house dog from Beacon House, who won a lovely cushion and a bottle of wine!
There was a Bring and Buy sale in each House and other games – supported by the local quilt shop, Nettie made prize cushions featuring animals (one with a breed identification game themed round it), and others for the regular PAT dogs themselves. There were also the regular bingo sessions. Over £130 was raised for some for National Pet Week as well as money for other local charities including the local rescue centre and the air ambulance.
National Pet Week was an eye-opener and animal activities, already established before National Pet Week, will continue. Care assistant George did not realise the therapeutic value that pets give to the residents, for both their esteem and emotional needs when they visit, until NPW – he then brought in Max, his two month old staffy cross on his day off, as the Home’s latest PAT dog.
Even the residents who find it hard to speak or show emotions certainly showed they found the whole experience fulfilling by their smiles and eagerness to cuddle the animals.
And very importantly, the activities department have started a portfolio about special animal friends – an ongoing activity for all residents and staff – this will be a pleasure and encouragement for new residents who feel vulnerable and will help them feel welcome in their new home.
National Pet Week thanks Court House for their entry and offers congratulations for such a fantastic example of ‘best of friends – best of health’.
Pet Shop Category – Winner – Fido’s Pet Bazaar, Norwich
Fido’s Pet Bazaar held a Rabbit Awareness Day, They had a stall in conjunction with the Rabbit Awareness Association, offering advice on all aspects of rabbit keeping and details of local clubs. They held a colouring competition and customers could even bring in their own rabbits. The event was also a fund raiser for a local Rabbit and Guinea Pig Rescue (Sprowston Guinea Pig Rescue). They involved other local businesses in their shopping centre, not only by donating prizes to their raffle, but for example the jewellery shop sold rabbit earrings, the household shop sold china rabbits, the balloon shop made a giant balloon rabbit and even the café had a special offer on carrot cake!
Animal Welfare Category – Winner – Suttons Animal Physiotherapy, Littleton, Hampshire Suttons Animal Physiotherapy raised £100 in donations for the Salisbury Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, by offering dogs a massage for a £5 donation. But Dogs Trust was not the only beneficiary – several dogs left looking more mobile tan when they arrived! The event – dubbed a ‘massage marathon’ – achieved good publicity in the local paper and raised the profile of NPW.
Glenbrae Veterinary Clinic have been involved with National Pet Week before, but this was the first time they had tried anything on a large scale. So, they went for a ‘Fun Day’, held on 8 May at Mugdock Country Park, Milngavie. This included dog agility that everyone could try with their dogs with the help of veterinary nurses. The dog show was a great success with categories such as best pedigree, best non-pedigree, waggiest tail, best six legs, best geriatric, best trick and dog most like their owner! There was also a pet show for small furries and most unusual pet. There was a sponsored walk organised by the SSPCA and children’s entertainment.
The practice had its own stand, giving tips on preventive healthcare and responsible pet ownership. Free samples were given out and competition prizes donated from animal medicine companies and local pet shops.
There was an amazing turn-out on the day: the weather was fantastic but attendance was helped by the fact that the practice had given the event advance publicity through mail outs to clients and informing the local schools. As well as the money raised by the SSPCA for their walk, the PDSA and local charity Hessilands Wildlife Sanctuary also had stalls and were able to raise useful funds.
The event also received good publicity in the local paper.
Local Authority Category – Winner- Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Kent
National Pet Week activities started with a series of radio interviews for Brian Milligan from Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (with KM FM, CTR Radio and Radio Kent) which were broadcast on news bulletins – or, as was the case with the Radio Kent interview, went out live.
The big event was the Tonbridge Garden Show, which included a trailer giving advice on responsible pet ownership and reduced price micro chipping. NPW posters were displayed and there was a collection. There was a constant stream of public asking questions!
A programme of School Educational talks was also set up during the Week and there was a lot of media coverage about the local authority’s activities – all in all – a very successful campaign using National Pet Week to promote responsible pet ownership.
Education Category – Winner- Lancaster and Morecambe College
Students from Lancaster and Morecambe College’s first year National Diploma Animal Management courses pulled out all the stops to raise money for and awareness of the animals they are learning to work with. National Pet Week gratefully received the funds raised, which will go towards continuing to spread the charity’s messages.
The students, helped by their tutors, organised games and activities to attract other students to find out more.
Special category – Winner – Canicross, Gloucestershire
Not fitting obviously into any of the existing competition categories, a new one was added because the Canicross event was just too good to pass over! Canicross was founded to promote the sport of running with your dog. The organisation’s aims are to actively encourage pet owners to participate in a joint activity with their dog and to get themselves and their dogs fit in the process. The epitome, in fact, of the NPW theme for 2005 ‘Best of Friends – Best of Health’
Mother and daughter Georgie and Mandie, two collies living near Exeter, have been judged as National Pet Week’s ‘Best Friends’ to their owner Barbara Wherlock. This was in a competition run by the charity, which promotes responsible pet ownership and how pets have a positive impact on people’s lives.
In the run up to National Pet Week, which took place from 30 April – 8 May, people were asked to send in a picture of their pet and say why they were their best friend. Barbara Wherlock describes her two ‘best mates’ and says just how important they are in keeping her well and active. She says: “Every day we go for long walks on Woodbury Common in sunny Devon, so they keep me fit and healthy. They are good company even when you are not feeling well.” Mrs Wherlock has retired from work in the health service, and says that the dogs make sure she never sits and gets bored. The dogs obviously appreciate the exercise and love she gives them too. She says: “I hate to leave them, when I go out, but the welcome home is worth it”.
She wins a ‘doggy bag’ of prizes including a special prize from Dog Bag, who make items for pet transport.
Second and third places went to two school children in Reading. Six year old Jasmine Lovick-Earl was second, with her ‘smelly cat’ Cooper. “My pet is the best because he is silly and makes me laugh. He is very fat and lazy so he can’t wash himself so he gets smelly. He has the loudest meow in the world,” says Jasmine.
And Charlie Brown, 7, who was third loves his fish Jaws “as much as my mum” and cares for him “so so much”. Jaws, according to Charlie “is the best pet anyone could have. He is very fast. He swims mostly when I’m not looking.”
Special under 10 award went to Alessandra Yolland from Peppard Common, Oxfordshire and her Welsh Mountain pony Minstrel. Allessandra says: “He comes when I call him and looks like he is smiling. If ever I am feeling down Minstrel makes me smile. I would like anyone that is unhappy to come and spend a day with me and my pony – I bet they would smile.”
The judges also made a special commendation for a fantastic photograph sent by Jo Warren from Great Barr, Birmingham, of her Yambuki Koi carp. “This Yambuki is a real character and a great favourite. Here he is playing in amongst the bubbles and has such a surprised look on his face as if the bubbles tickle.
We love to watch them as they glide around the pond and follow you as you walk, a real tonic at the end of a long day when you can switch off and be anywhere in the world with them. We may not be able to cuddle them but to know they are well and happy is reward enough”.
Harvey Jennifer Hyland runs a small graphic design partnership from home and Harvey, her Retriever cross dog, is very much part of the organisation. However, in his own right he is leading the way to generating another business that has been inspired through client concepts and creative thinking. Not only has this generated work for her, it has realised promotional products and services in return.
Jennifer says: “With a wide range of samples and initial ideas in the portfolio, the real launch came from Swindon Health Promotion and the Swindon Borough Council Leisure Services. Issues of health and fitness became more exciting when Harvey was involved and thus prompted a better understanding. By illustrating how to be safe in the sun, keep fit, stop smoking and saying no to drugs were just a few of the priorities featured. Leading on to the Junior School Fitness Roadshow programmes – targeting 7,000 children throughout the area, all working to please Harvey. This particular project inspired the creation of a striking and cute character image, which has now been trademarked as the lifestyle dog¹.
“Harvey enjoys his life as a dog but lives it like a human-being, offering the potential to entertain and educate children and adults, while linking the needs of a pet in a shared environment. The ideas that have been tried and tested tell me that Harvey is capable of imparting information to children, ‘Harvey makes coming to school more fun’, said one child from Carlton Junior School in Gloucester (from a local BBC radio interview). That is why there are a number of knowledgeable people interested in advising and supporting me, from connections with Loughborough University, head of art and design at Swindon College, leisure services, nutritional and veterinary contacts to pet and human trainers/behaviourists.
“Bearing in mind how important it is to maintain interest in daily routines of personal health, hygiene, diet, fitness and lifestyle, which can be boring and tiresome, I want the Harvey business to pass on his message through greetings cards, charts, craft packs, cartoons and books etc., to eventually repeating the same in animation and merchandise.
“In the meantime, I am in the process of designing a colouring book that visually explains how to care for a pet throughout its life. The idea is to educate children, especially in areas of little knowledge (UK and overseas). The publication will initially act as a fundraiser for rescue homes, while interactively teaching the facts of owning a pet.
“Currently, Harvey is the roving reporter for Dogs Monthly magazine. In a double page, full colour spread we have the opportunity boast where no dog has gone before! His connections with a number of other organisations has helped me to build a broader picture, with the added confidence in knowing that my plans have potential. Harvey has achieved celebrity status (and rubbed shoulders with a few) through the Community Forest, Big Arts Week, The Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs Home, Pet Brands, Crosskeys Select Publishers, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, Debenhams (back to school launch), Animal Treasures, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and BBC TV, The Pet Health Care Trust, RAF Brize Norton, The Fire Service, Army Cadets, Original Candy Co., National Pet Week, the Police and many more.
“I am passionate, enthusiastic and desperate to fulfill my ambition of making a business that educates a healthy lifestyle in the nicest possible way, and where better than through man’s best friend,” she adds.
Frog the Dog
Children’s author Helen McGlasson moved to Cumbria with in 1999 to make a new life for herself after leaving work with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Happy memories of the family pet dog she had as a small child prompted her to get a puppy of her own, a border collie, whom she named Frog. The adventures they had together inspired Helen to draw cartoons of Frog for her family. It wasn’t long before Helen pulled the cartoons together to illustrate a story about Frog. As Helen has been a prolific writer since the age of eight, it was no surprise that another story quickly followed and then another. There are now five Frog books published, with more to come.
Frog the DogHer latest book, “Frog the Dog and the Broken Bone!” came about after Frog was seriously ill in December 2003, was hospitalised and diagnosed with Addison’s disease. His condition has been successfully managed, and with regular medication Frog is now back to full health. When Frog’s vet realised Frog was the hero of several books, he asked if Helen would write a “going to the vet” story. Helen found it too painful to think of Frog being ill even in a story, so she brought in a new character based on another of the vet’s patients, a Great Dane, who is rescued by Frog and taken to the vet to have his broken leg fixed. Helen hopes that this story will raise awareness of the problem of being “different”, in this case by being so big, and that “big” doesn’t necessarily equate to “scary”. She hopes to have with a Great Dane in the future because she would like a serene dog who will sit on her knee.