Debate

Dog walkers – An ‘off-lead’ area in Hedon?

DOG walking is perhaps the most popular leisure activity engaged in by local residents. Whether considered ‘leisure’ or a necessary chore, the exercising of dogs is a common sight in the streets, fields and back lanes and footpaths around Hedon.

Dog BerneseHowever, there are very few places where dogs can be let off the lead and run freely and safely without straying onto public areas or private land.

Whilst public spaces with Protection Orders (previously called Dog Control Orders) should be clearly marked with ‘No Dogs’ or ‘Dogs on Leads’ signs, dog walkers are quite often confused about where else they are allowed to let their dogs run free off the lead.

It’s against the law (GOV.UK) to let a dog be “dangerously out of control” anywhere. A dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them. A dog attacking another dog or animal can also be considered out of control. And of course farmers can kill animals (including dogs) that attack their livestock.

Most dog walkers act responsibly when letting their dogs off lead and will know their animal’s temperament and when it needs to be called to heel and put back on lead. But we do hear of local people worried about seeing dogs running loose and occasional complaints from other dog walkers whose animal has been attacked by another dog.

An idea raised by Christine Horner, suggests that an area could be designated as an off-lead area where dog owners could safely exercise their animals.

Christine asks: “Has any land owner got a fenced-off field that they do not use? Why not try turning it into a dog walking area where people would pay to let their dog’s run free off the lead?

“I am sure it would be a hit, as they are opening up all over the place. I for one would gladly pay to see my dogs running off lead once/twice a week.”

So what do other dog walkers think about the idea? Would you use such an area? And like Christine, would you be willing to pay to use it? And are there any local landowners out there willing to consider this suggestion?

6 replies »

  1. Largely because of the dog mess issue, attitudes and laws regarding dogs have really been tightened up in recent years. The new idea that owners could be prosecuted if they are not carrying a poop bag on them is a bit over the top.
    And yet dog ownership is still probably the single most common hobby or pastime with pets providing real companionship to so many owners. I know we couldn’t be without our Rhodesian Ridgeback, Oliver
    .
    So many dogs get left at home all day, while families are at work/school. And when they do get to go out its under tight supervision. Really,they need a good run. No wonder dogs have an obesity crisis too !

    So dog owners have been treated like potential criminals, when we should be doing more to support a key pastime for so many residents. An Off-Lead area would be great if there is a suitable site – and Watson Park has been mentioned. or maybe a local landowner could look at opening up a fallow field ?

    I would guess a huge proportion of households in Hedon have a dog, or more than one. Yes they need to cleaned up after, but it would be a real service to all those many owners if a little doggie haven can be set aside somewhere.

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  2. I walk my dog on the railway lines from Hedon printers daily. The condition of the first section of the track is awful. Muddy, even in August. When I rang the person responsible at the council recently and I was told that I was the only person to complain in the last 5 years!!! Not true. So, if you would like to see this area tidied up and the mud and holes dealt with ( it would take very little) please send a quick email to Andrew Chudley at;
    customer.services@eastriding.gov.uk OR give him a ring on 01482 393939.

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    • I see numerous people using Watson Park to exercise their dogs off the lead despite Hedon Council stating that dogs should be kept on a lead. I can quite understand why people choose to visit the park with their dogs. Plenty of room for them to run and play ball games. Originally, a notice was placed on the gate saying that dogs were not allowed in the park but this was totally ignored. Schoolchildren are the main users who walk through on their way to and from South Holderness T.C.

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  3. I have 2 large dogs a BMD and a Rottie. They are both great with all size of dogs and love to play but other dog owners do pick up their dogs when they see my 2. It would be nice to have somewhere they can play

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  4. Great idea, i would definitely use it, i have 2 dogs that could do with off the lead run’s but because they are both rescue dogs it is difficult, one is not socialised with dogs and has a fear aggression it can be off putting for other dogs, a place for him to have a free run around would be amazing.

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