Garstang pub The Bellflower shortlisted for most dog friendly award

A dog-loving Preston pub has been shortlisted for an award for being a man's best friend.

By Emma Downey
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 3:45 pm

The Bellflower on Parkside Lane has been nominated in the Dog Friendly Category for the Great British Pub Awards.

The family pub which has been dog friendly for the past five years, caters for our four-legged friends' needs with bowls of water, treats, tennis balls and even has barrels of 'lager' and 'ale' for when they have had 'ruff' day.

General manager Heather Porter-Brandwood, 34, who lives above the pub said she had been pushing to make the pub dog-friendly as soon as she took the job.

The Bellflower in Garstang has been nominated for the dog-friendliest award at the British Pub Awards. Pictured is Heather Porter-Brandwood with dog Maia.

"I have been the GM for the past six years and after high demand from our guests and one year of petitioning for it we have now been pooch-friendly for five years,” she said.

"We found out a month ago we were finalists and we have also had a mystery visit from the judges to check how dog friendly we are.

"It would be amazing to win. It would be brilliant for our staff as they are a dog crazy bunch.

"Dogs are therapy for the team - if you can't find a member of staff they will be with a dog.

The Bellflower in Garstang where "dogs are welcome and humans are tolerated"

"They are family - you don't want to leave them at home. 60 per cent of Marstons pubs are now dog-friendly."

The community-orientated pub is no stranger to being nominated for awards, having came runners-up last year in the Best Pubs for Family and Community Heroes categories.

Heather added: "My favourite saying is "The pub puts people before pennies" and that's what we do.

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Pictured is Caroline Porter-Brandwood, Jessica Salisbury and Heather Porter-Brandwood with dog Maia.

"We are very much a community pub and help people with whatever they need."

During Covid the pub fed over 3,000 people in the community by delivering food parcels and is now asking parents to drop their children's old school uniforms off from next month.

Research from Rover.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for loving pet care, reveals that over half of people (56 per cent) say they are twice as likely to talk to someone they don’t know if they are with a dog than without.

Golden Retrievers were most likely to attract 'con-fur-sation' from strangers, with Maltese dogs being the list.

Is this the most dog-friendliest pub?

The research comes as Rover announced the shortlist for the ‘Dog-Friendly Pub Category’ at the Great British Pub Awards, which it is sponsoring.

Adem Fehmi, Rover’s Canine Behaviourist added: “Dogs are naturally very social and, by their nature, help to bring people together.

“Our four legged-best friends also help us to feel confident in both familiar and new surroundings when by our side.

"With more dog owners than ever, we have seen an increase in people wanting to share experiences with their dogs and make lasting memories together. Being a dog-friendly pub helps to make this happen and can be beneficial in settling both the owner and their dog.

"With the UK such a dog loving nation, we look forward to seeing more establishments evolve and develop with their canine clientele in mind!”

This year the awards will be held at Freight Island in Manchester on Tuesday, October 4.

Dog ale anyone?
All the tennis balls for the good bois