Muddy Dog Trek FAQs

Do you have any unanswered questions about the Muddy Dog Trek? Then you've come to the right place!


What is the Muddy Dog Trek?

The Muddy Dog Trek is a 10km and 20km trekking challenge where humans can walk with their dogs to fundraise for Battersea.

Where is the Muddy Dog Trek?

Both treks are circular routes in the beautiful South Downs, starting and finishing at Firle Place, in the village of Firle near Lewes. To find the event car park and start area please use the postcode BN8 6NS.

When is the Muddy Dog Trek?

Saturday, 27 April 2019 from 8am to 5.30pm (BST).

Will there be any natural obstacles on the route?

There are several stiles along the route. Most of them have gaps for dogs to get through, however some dogs may need assisting round, or lifting over certain stiles. Please ensure that you and your dog can easily and comfortably negotiate stiles of varying types.

Is there an age limit for the event?

All human participants must be aged 18 or above on event day. All dogs taking part must be aged 1 or above on event day.

Can I volunteer?

We are looking for amazing volunteers to help out at the Muddy Dog Trek! You’ll have a day of fun, support Battersea, and make lots of new two and four-legged friends at the same time. There are roles available at the event village in Firle as well as at the rest points along the course.

Email for more information.


How can I enter?

Unfortunately you can no longer enter as the Muddy Dog Trek 2019 is now sold out.

Is there a registration fee?

Yes, all participants will be required to pay a non-refundable registration fee.

Why do I have to pay a registration fee and raise sponsorship?

The registration fee goes towards the cost of putting on the event including venue hire, signage, maps, refreshments, first aid, vet cover and marketing. You will also receive a t-shirt, medal, bandana and rosette for you and your dog on the day.

We ask that every human participant raises a minimum of £100 in sponsorship so that we can ensure as much money as possible goes towards helping our dogs and cats. You will be given up to one month after the event to complete your fundraising, so you do not need to have raised the full amount by event day. We will be providing you with lots of fundraising advice in the lead up to the event and our dedicated team will be on-hand to support you with your fundraising.

On the day

Do I need to train?

We advise speaking to your vet about training as all dogs are different. We advise that in the lead up to the event, you should consider going on several long walks, gradually increasing the distance to improve you and your dog’s stamina prior to the event. Both distances include varied terrain, hill climbs, steep descents and stiles so you should adapt your training accordingly.

What should I wear?

It is important that you wear suitable clothing for trekking in, including walking trousers and walking boots, trainers will not be suitable. Please check the weather and consider if you will need warm, waterproof clothing or a sun hat and sun cream.

We strongly recommend wearing plenty of layers and bringing a backpack that you can put them in if you get hot.

  • Thermal base layer
  • Second layer such as a t-shirt
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Walking trousers, leggings or shorts
  • Walking boots or shoes
  • Walking socks
What should I bring?

It is important that you bring plenty of layers of clothing if it is going to be cold. It may be helpful to bring a backpack so you can put any clothing you remove in it. Please bring a large filled water bottle and water bowl, to keep you and your dog hydrated and you can refill these at rest stops. We also recommend that you bring any snacks you may need on top of what is provided.

We would recommend you bring the following:

  • Full water bottle (2L advised)
  • Dog drinking bottle, or bowl
  • Gloves and hat if cold
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, sun cream and spare pair of socks if hot and sunny
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Snacks
  • Dog poo bags
What happens if I decide I no longer want to continue during the trek?

It is very important that you call the event number to let us know if you are dropping out and essential information will be provided on your on the day documentation.

What happens if it is very hot?

Keep an eye on the weather forecast leading up to the event. If it is going to be hot please ensure you wear a hat, sun cream and appropriate clothing. It is important that you keep yourself and your dog hydrated throughout the day. If it is a hot day we will consider shortening the course and if it gets extremely hot we may consider closing the course.

What time does the event start?

The event opens from 8am. You will receive a briefing at 8.45 and start the trek at 9am.

What should I do once I arrive?

When you arrive, you will be checked in and given a route map. If you didn’t receive or need to change your t-shirt, bandana or race number please go to the information tent once you have checked in. You will then have time to get ready and go to the toilet before the event briefing at 8.45. There will be a safety briefing followed by a short warm up, before you start at 9am.

How long do I have to complete the course, and what happens if I don’t complete it in time?

10km - participants must reach the half way rest stop at Bo Peep Car Park by 1pm and complete the course by 5.30pm.

20km - participants must reach the first rest stop at Alciston by 11.30am, the lunch stop in Alfriston by 1pm, the afternoon rest stop in Bo Peep Car Park by 3.30pm, and complete the course by 5.30pm.

There will be a staff member, called the back marker, walking both routes in the slowest time allowed so participants know what speed they need to walk to complete the course on time. If participants arrive to a rest stop later than the time listed above, they can choose to voluntarily drop out from the trek or can be driven to the next rest stop or the finish line (there may be a short wait if the vehicle is being used for any emergency).

All vehicles must depart Firle Estate by 7pm.

How will I know where to walk?

You will be provided with a route map on the event day, there will also be blue directional arrows along the course.

Will there be food and drink?

The 10km route has one rest stop where participants can enjoy energy snacks and hot and cold drinks, participants will then enjoy a cold pasta lunch when the finish the course.

The 20km route has a morning rest stop where participants can enjoy energy snacks and hot and cold drinks. A lunch stop where participants will receive a cold pasta lunch and drinks, followed by an afternoon rest stop for more energy snacks and hot and cold drinks.

Please bring plenty of water and any extra snacks you may require.

All participants will receive a glass of bubbly as they cross the finish line!

All food on the day will be vegetarian, but please let us know if you have any other dietary requirements or allergies.

What happens if myself or my dog get injured?

There will be medics and vets at the event. Please understand that due to the length of the trek it may take a short while for support to reach you.

Can friends and family come to watch?

Friends and family are welcome to come and watch you set off, meet you at the rest stops and at the finish.


Is the trek suitable for my dog?

The Muddy Dog Trek is a challenging event and will not be suitable for all dogs. Please consider your dog’s age, health, breed-type and ability before registering. For example, many flat-nose, overweight or older dogs might struggle to complete the 20km distance but may be able to complete the 10km distance if they are used to regular long walks. We advise speaking to your vet before registering as all dogs are different. We also advise that in the lead up to the event, you should consider going on a few long walks, gradually increasing the distance to improve your dog’s stamina prior to the event.

Please note that both distances include varied terrain, hill climbs, steep descents and stiles.

Is there an age limit for dogs?

All dogs taking part must be aged 1 or above on event day.

Do I need to keep my dog on the lead?

Yes, due to the number of dogs taking part, livestock and potentially horses along the course, it is important that you always keep your dog on the lead. Please ensure your dog is on a short, controlled lead, especially when in busy areas such as the event village and rest stops.

My dog is on a muzzle, but not aggressive – can they take part?

It’s fine for dogs to take part with a muzzle.

Can I take part with more than one dog?

No, only one dog is allowed per participant.

My dog is reactive to other dogs. Can they take part?

Due to the high number of dogs taking part in the Muddy Dog Trek, all dogs participating in the event need to be sociable around other dogs. If we feel that your dog is becoming reactive or stressed on the day, you may be asked to leave the event by a member of the Battersea Team.

My dog is not vaccinated but has been titre tested – is that OK?

Yes, this is fine. You take part at your and your dog’s own risk. The main function of a titre test is to show the level of immunity a dog has to certain viruses such as parvo virus however one of the difficulties with a titre test is that the immunity can change depending on the length of time since the last vaccine and the longer the time frame, the less exact the result becomes. Our concern is obviously the safety of the dogs taking part and if your dog is not vaccinated then s/he is more susceptible to viruses such as parvo but also others such as distemper, hepatitis, para influenza and leptospirosis. We would strongly recommend that you speak to your vet about having a titre test instead of a vaccination which is what we would naturally prefer for safety reasons.


If you need any further advice, please contact our Events Team:


Places for the Muddy Dog Trek 2019 are now sold out.

But there are still plenty of other treks that you can take part in.