The issue of dogs on recreational green spaces can be both controversial and difficult to manage. Dogs and sport and children’s play do not go well together. Equally, owning and exercising with dogs is an important and popular lifestyle choice for many people. Fields in Trust’s view is that the issue is a matter for the landowner, and whether a site is protected with us or not we do not get involved. The challenge is to try to find a consensus that works for all based on the concept of responsible dog ownership.
The Dog Control Orders (Procedures) Regulations 2006 gave powers to councils to oblige dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead, ban dogs from designated areas and to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) to anyone breaking the council’s rules. These regulations have now been superseded by Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) which may or may not relate to dogs. PSPOs can be introduced by Councils, apart from Parish or Community Councils. There is more information on the gov.uk website.
Dog Agility Training
Facilities for training dogs are gaining popularity. As they hopefully give their owners a workout as well, we think such facilities are suitable for a public recreation ground. If these facilities are wanted by local people then it is down to the landowner. If it is a commercial facility that would not necessarily be acceptable and would be subject to our Field Change Request procedure if the site is protected with us.
Guide dog and assistance dog owners have important rights under the Equality Act 2010 and these dogs are not subject to the same controls as standard dogs. More information can we found on the Assistance Dogs UK website.