Eynsham Parish Council News

Safety and courtesy when dog walking 18 Dec 2023 Keeping footpaths and fields safe and pleasant places for everyone to enjoy

Eynsham Parish Council has become aware of a number of issues associated with dogs and the behaviour of their handlers in some of our local fields and along footpaths. In one incident, a child was intimidated and terrified by an approaching dog that was off the lead and running free, despite signs asking for dogs to be kept on the lead in that particular field. 

While we know that the vast majority of dog owners and dog walkers do the right thing, there are some that don’t and it can cause issues for other members of the community, as well as the environment. We’d urge everyone walking with a dog to be considerate of other users and follow the restrictions at all times.   

We recognise that dogs often prefer to be let off the lead so would direct dog walkers to the areas and footpaths around Eynsham where this can occur when there is no livestock. Please remember that your dog should be under control at all times, even when off-lead.

In some areas, such as the south (QEII) playing field and Fishponds, walkers are asked to keep their dogs on the lead at all times (no dogs are permitted on the north field due to lease conditions). Please follow these instructions and keep an eye on one another – remind other dog walkers of the rules if possible and avoid the temptation of flouting them because others are. 

The restrictions are in place for compelling reasons. There are well-known and severe health hazards associated with dogs fouling on the regularly-used sports pitches. Footballers have informed the Council they have to pick up dog waste on the pitch before a game can commence. Beyond the hygiene factor, the playing fields are there to provide a recreation area for everyone’s enjoyment, including those who may be frightened of dogs running loose.

It should also be noted that dog waste contaminates the wildflower meadows that are being planted to improve the biodiversity around Eynsham, which means that the collected hay cannot be used for the purpose intended.

We know many of our residents adore their dogs and the walks they do together. We’d like to keep this pleasure available to everyone without spoiling the experience for any other users of the local environment. Thank you for your consideration and your help in making walking enjoyable for all.  

More advice and information is available on the UK Government webpage dedicated to The Countryside Code. 





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