Working dogs to be remembered at Armistice Day ceremony

A service to remember working dogs will be held at Cannock Chase on Friday 10 November 2017 at 2pm, which heralds the start of the Friends of Cannock Chase’s seventieth anniversary celebrations.                 

The Friends of Cannock Chase, supported by Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), are inviting working dogs and their owners to a remembrance service this November.

The annual service, now in its eighth year, was inspired by Freda, a Harlequin Dane that was the New Zealand Rifles’ mascot, when the regiment was stationed on Cannock Chase during the First World War. She died in 1918, while the regiment was training on Cannock Chase, and is buried there.

In memory of Freda, and dogs like her, the service will be held at her grave, which is off Chase Road, near Stafford.

Last year around 50 people, many accompanied by their dogs, gathered at Freda’s grave to take part in the ceremony. This included listening to readings and poems, and laying wreaths at the grave.

This year is extra special as it will be a chance to celebrate all that the Friends of Cannock Chase do for this important environment.

June Jukes MBE, Chairman of the Friends of Cannock Chase, said: “We hope plenty of people and their dogs join us for this special ceremony.

“It is a moving service, so whether you’re remembering the bravery of a military or police dog, a missed support or pet dog, or simply want to celebrate 70 years of volunteering for the Friends of Cannock Chase, everyone is welcome.”

Dogs can also attend the service, which takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Cannock Chase.

Freda’s grave is 0.6 miles south east of Brocton Village, near Stafford. It is marked ‘Meml’ on the Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 244 – Cannock Chase and its grid reference is SJ978188.

The Milford Common Trail passes the grave. A leaflet is available from the nearby Cannock Chase Visitor Centre at Marquis Drive in Cannock Chase Country Park.

To find out more call the AONB office on 01785 619185 or email



Esther Epstein

Cannock Chase AONB Press Officer

T: 01543 308778 E:

About the Friends of Cannock Chase

 The group was formed in November 1947 when groups from Cannock, Hednesford, Rugeley, Stafford and Penkridge became concerned about the future of the area.

In the early days the Friends campaigned for recognition of the area by granting it AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) status, to give it greater protection. This was granted in 1958.

The group offers programme of walks and visits and has a hard working committee that monitors all aspects of events on Cannock Chase. The Friends also do heathland management work throughout the autumn and winter and litter picks in the summer.

Notes about Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

In England and Wales landscapes considered most valuable are designated as National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). These landscapes are protected by law and managed to maintain their special character for now and the future.

Cannock Chase was designated as an AONB in 1958 because of its beautiful landscape, wildlife and history. It has the largest surviving area of lowland heathland in the Midlands. This is an internationally scarce and threatened habitat. Cannock Chase also has extensive areas of forest and woodland, along with areas of designed parkland, sand and gravel quarrying and mixed agriculture.

There is now considerable economic and recreational pressure on this landscape and the Cannock Chase AONB team is working to make sure the right balance is struck to conserve and enhance the area, while maintaining it as a living, working environment.

Cannock Chase AONB is funded by DEFRA, Cannock Chase Council, Lichfield District Council, South Staffordshire Council, Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council.

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There’s lots of work parties coming up over the next few months, let us know if you’d like more information on any of these:



10am – 2pm

Shoal Hill Common

Heathland management




10am – 2pm

TBC (maximum 12)

Bench installation




10am – 12

Mill Green, Cannock

Himalayan Balsam pull and litter pick




10am – 2pm

The Museum of Cannock Chase

Creating invertebrate scrapes on Hednesford Hills




10am – 2pm

Meet at the Whitehouse car park

Bracken pulling and cutting on Forestry Commission land




10am – 2pm

The Museum of Cannock Chase

Bracken pulling and cutting




10am – 2pm






10am – 2pm

Ironstone Heath

Cutting and collecting grassland areas




10am – 2pm

The Museum of Cannock Chase

Heathland management on Hednesford Hills




10am – 2pm

Shoal Hill Common

Heathland management


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Sustainable Development Fund

Does your project need a funding boost?

Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is inviting people, groups and agencies to apply for a slice of its £30,000 Sustainable Development Fund.

The Sustainable Development Fund aims to encourage individuals and communities to find sustainable ways of living and working, while enhancing and conserving the local culture, wildlife and landscape.

Cannock Chase AONB has put £30,000 of its Defra grant into its Sustainable Development Fund and is urging local people, groups and agencies to apply for funding.

Emma Beaman-Green, Assistant AONB Officer, said: “Our Sustainable Development Fund helps small groups get involved in activities that raise awareness of the AONB, from pond dipping and willow weaving events, through to heritage restoration works. It doesn’t matter if you or your group is not based within the AONB area, as long as you can show that your project will have a positive impact on the AONB. 

“If you’ve got an idea for a project and would like to discuss it, please contact me or fill in an application form, which is on our website at under Sustainable Development Fund.”

For more information or guidance about the application process, please contact Emma Beaman-Green, Cannock Chase AONB, on 01889 882613 or email

 There is no upper or lower limit on funding, but it is only for projects that will be completed by 31 March 2012.

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