DORSET Dogs and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have collaborated to protect heathlands this summer.

The campaign will see dog owners receive one hour of training and equipment for their dogs to wear while patrolling the area on a normal dog walk.

A spokesperson for Dorset Dogs said: “Our K9 Firewise Patrol dogs, along with their owners of course, help keep our heathlands safe from wildfires. They are eyes and ears on the ground, out and about.

“The K9 Firewise Patrol is simply recording your walk with your four-legged best friends, whilst keeping a watchful eye for any potential fires or any suspicious activity on the heathlands where you walk

“In return, you will receive a free lead and bandana for your dog to help spread the word of the amazing work you are doing to keep you, your community, and wildlife safe from the devastating effects of wildfire.

“As part of the scheme we ask that you have adequate pet insurance that covers Third Party Public Liability.”

The new initiative comes after the recent news of multiple arson-related incidents that have destroyed multiple Dorset heathlands.

Volunteers can sign up via the Dorset Dogs website.