Fears dog walkers may be banned from Barnham field

News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001
News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001

Concerns dog walkers might be banned from a popular field have been prompted by news an urgent meeting was held last Friday (October 13).

The move, in relation to Murrells Field, Barnham, follows the topic being raised at the last parish council meeting.

Clerk Alison Crabb admitted a ban is something ‘we might have to do’ but expressed hopes it wouldn’t come to that.

She said in addition to ‘the inordinate amount of dog mess’, fears have also been expressed about the animals not being properly controlled and attacking other dogs.

She said: “It is a problem we have had for many years. We have raised it many times but this summer we have had so many complaints. I mentioned it to one dog walker and it escalated from there.”

Mrs Crabb did not reveal any details about last week’s meeting, other than that it was being held in private and that it would be followed up by the parish council before any decision is made.

She said: “We are not banning dogs at this moment in time. Nothing would happen without it going through the parish council.

“I am hoping I don’t have to take that decision and so are the parish council, but it is disgusting.

“We know it is only a few (offenders) but we are hoping the majority will come up with options.”

In a statement from the parish council, it confirmed it ‘would seriously consider a total ban on dog walking/exercising on the field if no improvement was seen over a three-month period’. A county council spokesman said the parish council is ‘wholly responsible’ for how it managed the land under a 99-year lease, dated June 21, 2001.

One dog walker who heard about the private meeting and went along said many ‘felt disappointed’ it hadn’t been better communicated.

Facebook group ‘Murrells Field Dog Walkers United’ was set up in response. Contact murrellsfielddogwalkers@gmail.com for more information.

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