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Westie walk attracts dog lovers from across the region

PUBLISHED: 15:42 12 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:33 13 May 2019

Over 70 westies met up in Colchester to raise money for charity this weekend Picture: TERRY PETTITT

Over 70 westies met up in Colchester to raise money for charity this weekend Picture: TERRY PETTITT

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Westies from across the region have gathered in Colchester this weekend to raise money for charity.

Westies of all ages, shapes and sizes attended the event Picture: TERRY PETTITWesties of all ages, shapes and sizes attended the event Picture: TERRY PETTIT

Over 70 westies took part in the walk, the second of its kind to take place at Colchester's Highwoods Country Park.

The event was organised by westie owner Amanda Doyland, from Colchester.

Miss Doyland had seen similar 'westie walks' elsewhere in the country and decided to set up her own when she found there was nothing similar locally.

"I know the park inside out, so I knew what to do," said Miss Doyland.

Westies from across the region travelled down for the walk Picture: MICHELLE WRIGHTWesties from across the region travelled down for the walk Picture: MICHELLE WRIGHT

The first meet-up saw 78 westies head to Colchester, a number which took Miss Doyland by surprise.

"At the first one I didn't think we would see 20 dogs," said Miss Doyland.

"When I got to the car park to set up and saw the amount of people, I thought: 'Oh my God.'

"It was overwhelming for me to see what it had attracted."

It was the second time that westies and their owners had gathered in Colchester Picture: TERRy PETTITTIt was the second time that westies and their owners had gathered in Colchester Picture: TERRy PETTITT

This year numbers were slightly down, with 74 westies joined by several other breeds known at the meet as 'honorary westies'.

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Miss Doyland said she was still pleased with the attendance, given the poor weather on the day.

Despite the weather westies from as far as Norwich, Cambridge and Ipswich came down to join in the walk.

All the money raised goes to charities which help westies Picture: TERRY PETTITTAll the money raised goes to charities which help westies Picture: TERRY PETTITT

"I think we are now one of the biggest westie walks in England," said Miss Doyland.

As well as being a good opportunity to meet up with other owners, the event was a chance to raise money for Westie Rescue UK - with £250 being raised on the day.

Much of the money came from a raffle, with many of the prizes being donated by local companies.

Organisers received so many generous raffle prizes, in fact, that they are keeping some for the walk's next meet later in the year.

"It was a lovely atmosphere," said Miss Doyland.

But what is it that makes westies such a popular dog to own?

Miss Doyland, who has two dogs herself, Brandy and Smirnoff, has her own theory.

"They're naughty," said Miss Doyland, "they have west-itude but they are also fun and loveable."

The group will return to the country park in September where they hope to have more than 100 westies taking part.

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