DOG owners and families are invited to a pooch festival at Prestwich's Heaton Park this weekend to raise funds for a children's hospice.

Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is hosting its first ever Bark in the Park event on Sunday, April 22 — with 200 pooches expected to attend.

There will be dog-themed activities aplenty, including a fancy dress competition and stalls selling perfect pooch gifts and items.

Visitors will be able to enter their pristine pups in the event's dog show, which has prizes for the best fancy dress, best boy, best girl, best trick, best rescue, golden oldie, kids' best friend and best in show.

As well as the dog show, there will be activities to test the dogs’ agility, speed and skill.

Helen Latham, senior fundraiser at Forget Me Not, said: "We can’t wait to welcome dog owners and families to our first ever Bark in the Park event.

"We've got loads of great activities and entertainment planned for the day and come rain or shine it will be a brilliant opportunity for people in the local community to come together and have fun in the fresh air with their dogs – all while supporting a very worthy cause."

All of the money raised will go towards Forget Me Not’s new children’s hospice, Grace’s Place, which is opening in Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, later this year.

The charity, which provides care for children and their families in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham, with life-shortening conditions, has already started providing a hospice at home service.

The event promises entertainment for families including refreshments, face painting and games.

Forget Me Not has commissioned Channel 4's Extreme Cake Maker contestant Molly Robbins to bake a special sweet creation for the event.

The Lancashire-based 20-year-old will produce an elaborate cake that will be presented to a 13-year-old girl, Olivia, who is receiving care at Forget Me Not's Huddersfield site. Olivia has been invited to attend the Royal wedding on May 19.

The Bark in the Park activities will commence at 11.30am, with the dog fancy dress competition and dog show starting at 12 noon.

At 1.30pm, visitors will be invited to join in with a group 3km walk around the park to finish.

Entry is £5 per dog, which includes a doggy bag. The dog show and fancy dress competition is £2 per entry.