CHOW (Chiswick House Organised Walkers)
CHOW was formed in 2006 by a group of dog owners and local residents who regularly walk in Chiswick House Gardens.
At that time the newly formed Chiswick House and Gardens Trust and Hounslow Council were applying for Heritage Lottery funding for a major restoration project, and were engaged in a consultation process with regular users of the grounds. The initial project plans included recommendations to make sweeping changes which would have negatively affected dog-walking in the Gardens. Whilst acknowledging that the overall project would be to the benefit of the whole community, a large number of dog owners – who form the largest regular users of the park – became concerned that these plans would ultimately make dog-walking within the grounds impractical.
George Nissen, Chairman of Chiswick House Friends, together with John Armstrong, Deputy Chairman, facilitated dialogue between the dog-walking community and CHG Trustees and management which led to a positive outcome and amendments protecting the rights of dog-walkers to exercise their dogs in the grounds. In a new spirit of co-operation a Code of Conduct in the Gardens was launched, and the rights to access existing off-lead areas confirmed for dog-walkers.
This Code of Conduct is available on notice boards at each of the entrances to the Gardens, and years later we are all very proud of how this spirit of co-operation has worked to successfully ensure that our beautiful park can be enjoyed by all.
Today, CHOW as a lobbying group is dormant, the interests of dog-walkers and promotion of responsible exercising of dogs in the Gardens being represented through the Dog Show Committee, which works closely with Chiswick House Gardens Trust. As the largest established regular group of park users, many using the gardens on a daily basis, dog-walkers continue to respect and appreciate this wonderful space.