Date set for record-breaking dog walk in South Shields

(rear left to right) Paula Taylor (little haven hotel), Councillor Olive Punchion (mayor of South Shields), Mary French (mayoress of South Shields) Michael Ward (little haven hotel) Katie Chapel (dogs trust) and Tony Carlisle (great north dog walk founder) (front left to right) great north dog walk organisers Lisa Hedley, Mark Bellas, Mathew and Alan Hedley with their dogs) at the launch of the 2017 Great North dog Walk. Picture by FRANK REID
(rear left to right) Paula Taylor (little haven hotel), Councillor Olive Punchion (mayor of South Shields), Mary French (mayoress of South Shields) Michael Ward (little haven hotel) Katie Chapel (dogs trust) and Tony Carlisle (great north dog walk founder) (front left to right) great north dog walk organisers Lisa Hedley, Mark Bellas, Mathew and Alan Hedley with their dogs) at the launch of the 2017 Great North dog Walk. Picture by FRANK REID

The official countdown has started for the 2018 Great North Dog Walk.

Founder of the event Tony Carlisle was yesterday joined by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside Coun Olive Punchion and Mary French has he officially opened applications for next year’s event.

Tony Carlisle

Tony Carlisle

The annual fundraiser, held on the Leas in South Shields, was first launched in 1990 and since then has seen thousands of owners and their dogs take part each year.

Last year, a total of 30,114 dogs representing 185 breeds walked the three mile route which starts and finishes on The Leas.

Last month, the event was also named regional runner-up in the Pride of Britain Awards,

Mr Carlisle said: “ It’s really exciting. I don’t normally launch the dog walk until the beginning of the new year, but I’ve had that many inquiries and people wanting to register, I’m starting it early this year.

This is easily the legacy I want to leave behind

Tony Carlisle

“As always, I am looking for new sponsorship for the event. It’s amazing the support we receive from local businesses but we could always use more.”

He added: “This is easily the legacy I want to leave behind.

“It’s great to see so many people turning out and enjoying themselves each year. You can’t describe it.”

This year, the event will be helping to raise funds for the Dogs Trust as the charity looks to rebuild their centre in Darlington.

Russell Benson, community fundraising team manager for The Dogs Trust said: “This year, I am encouraging walkers to raise funds for Dogs Trust which could go towards the rebuilding of their local centre in Darlington and to raise awareness of all their work in the local area and beyond.”

The date for the 2018 event is Sunday June 3 and applications to take part are open now.

The event starts at 10.30am with registration on the day open from 9am.

As well as the walk, there are a number of dog-friendly stalls for owners to browse and activities for youngsters.

The route also an alternative for those with pushchairs, wheelchairs, the elderly and older dogs.

Mr Carlisle said: “This has turned into a full-time job for me, as once one year is over the planning starts for the following year.

“It’s non-stop but worth it.”

Anyone who would like more information or to register for the event visit www.greatnorthdogwalk.co.uk