THE organisers of Dogstival, the weekend celebration of man’s best friend in the New Forest, has been postponed until after the summer.
Richard and Domine Nowell, who debuted the event at Pylewell Park near Lymington last year, said it would be “irresponsible” to press ahead with it as planned on 16th and 17th May amid the coronavirus emergency.
Instead they have booked Burley Park as the new venue with revised dates of 5th and 6th September, although camping will not be possible.
Mr Nowell says: “It is obvious that trying to put on a live event in under eight weeks’ time would not be a responsible decision under the current circumstances.
“People are naturally concerned and should be staying at home wherever possible, avoiding unnecessary contact with others in order to stop the spread of coronavirus. It is a common sense decision being taken at the right time and on the advice of government experts.
“It is disappointing to be leaving Pylewell Park. The estate has a busy schedule of weddings across late summer and autumn so a new date for Dogstival was just not feasible.”
Mr Nowell gave special thanks for Anthony Climpson, chief executive at tourism group Go New Forest, for his support in finding a way to avoid cancelling the whole event.
He said: “I know the Go New Forest team are working hard to support all members and the tourist economy which is currently under huge pressure.”
The festival is still planned to host a wealth of activities, advice and tips from training experts on the Dog House Behaviours Stage, plus TV vet Dr Scott Miller in the Healthy Hound Den.
There will also be rare breeds, fun dog shows, live music and over 150 retailers, plus food and drink.
Organisers will be in touch with ticket holders who have the options of using their passes in September, transferring them to Dogstival in 2021, or receiving a refund.
More events affected
THE organisers of Copythorne carnival have postponed the event until September.
Another major event has also fallen victim to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show was due to have been held at Meadowmead Farm near Totton on 24-26th July.
A statement from the organisers on its Facebook page said: “This year we have been faced with the difficult decision to cancel. The decision is not one that has been taken lightly, taking in to account a multitude of different factors.
“Public health and safety is at the forefront of our minds and with the current advice from the government we feel it would be irresponsible to hold the show. Cancellation this year will ensure the economic stability of the show.”