London Borough of Richmond upon Thames has started a consultation to have dogs banned on the Petersham Meadows. Visit the council website for full detail,
Council Press Release
Dogs could be banned on Petersham Meadows, should there be no objections to a public consultation, it was agreed at last night’s Regulatory Committee.
Following an incident with a dog last year, it was agreed by residents, the National Trust and the Council that one of the improved safety measures would be that dogs would be banned from accessing the Meadows between April and November when the cows are grazing. To enable this to happen the Council must implement a Dog Exclusion Order. Although the National Trust manages the land through a lease arrangement, the Council, as the freeholder has the power to implement exclusion.
At the meeting last night Members agreed that whilst fencing is erected around the area to protect the cows from any dogs, a number of walkers are still unleashing their canines whilst out walking and they still have the potential to get into the area. In order to protect cattle from a further attack, the Committee agreed to take statutory action to ban dogs totally from the area. Those with a registered disability and use a dog for support e.g. guide dogs, are exempt from the ban.
The proposals will be now out for a 28 day official public consultation period. Following a review of all representations, the Council will decide whether or not to proceed.
Cllr Virginia Morris, Richmond Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said:
“The health and safety of both meadow users, dogs and the cows is of paramount importance. This decision from the Regulatory Committee supports our work to protect the wellbeing of all those in the area. Dog owners are important users of our parks and Richmond Council promotes and encourages responsible dog ownership. Most owners are conscientious; however, a small minority are not and this spoils the enjoyment of our open spaces and parks for others. We feel that the banning of dogs totally from the Meadow, during the cattle grazing season is the best option to encourage safety.”
Hungry calf November 2012
Cows and people currently share other National Trust land in both the London and the Southeast Region http://www.winchelsea.net/images/cattle.pdf and White Park Bay in Northern Ireland http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/white-park-bay/our-work/ Electric fences are not considered necessary in either of these other location and the former National Trust Regional Director for Northern Ireland is now Regional Director for London and the Southeast.