Dogs could be banned from Bolton Abbey woodland walk

A dog-walker in Strid Wood

A dog-walker in Strid Wood

First published in News Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Dogs could be banned from a popular woodland walk if their owners fail to obey dog fouling rules and a request to keep pets on a lead.

Guardians of Strid Wood at Bolton Abbey are fed up with dog owners not cleaning up after their animals and even hanging bagged dog filth from trees. They say they have also recorded an increase in the number of pets let off their leads and received reports of leashed dogs being attacked by others which have been allowed to run free.

Visitor manager Moira Smith said: “A minority of dog owners are spoiling a day out for the majority. Sadly if this continues, the estate will have to review their policy.

“If visitors continue to flaunt the dogs-on-lead policy and to litter the countryside and hang dog waste bags on trees, the estate will consider banning dogs in Strid Wood.”

Some visitors and particularly children were frightened by loose dogs. Even a friendly dog could cause someone to step back off the path, which was narrow in places, and be seriously injured, Mrs Smith added.

Dog bins were strategically positioned where staff could access them with a vehicle but could not be positioned everywhere. She said: “We urge visitors not to hang bags of dog waste on trees – the bags are not biodegradable and hang there littering the beautiful countryside.”

Strid Wood has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest where nature and flora and fauna had to be protected.

Mrs Smith also warned that loose dogs could damage the environment and disturb wildlife. And she stressed that dogs should not be allowed to roam free at Cavendish Pavilion, especially where there were children and toddlers. The estate is owned by the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth Settlement.

Comments (4)

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1:11pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Skipton man says...

Yes, you can't blame the dogs, it's the owners that are filthy disgusting wasters. It's the same everywhere you walk, they let them do it on the paths around the estates and don't even try to clean it up. It's something that needs enforcing more, and bigger fines, but it won't happen will it?
Yes, you can't blame the dogs, it's the owners that are filthy disgusting wasters. It's the same everywhere you walk, they let them do it on the paths around the estates and don't even try to clean it up. It's something that needs enforcing more, and bigger fines, but it won't happen will it? Skipton man
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Thu 27 Dec 12

GAMEKEEPER1809 says...

Unfortunately this issue affects the countryside nation wide. It would be very unfortunate for the majority of.people visiting the estate because of the actions of a few inconsiderate individuals.
Unfortunately this issue affects the countryside nation wide. It would be very unfortunate for the majority of.people visiting the estate because of the actions of a few inconsiderate individuals. GAMEKEEPER1809
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 27 Dec 12

Skipton Ratepayer says...

Every gateway has a sign saying that dogs must be on leads, but owners seem to think that it doesn't apply to their precious animals. We've visited Bolton Abbey regularly for about 40 years and I would say that far fewer than half the dogs have been on leads. If you point it out, you get a shifty look or, more often, abuse. A large, excited dog is VERY frightening if it runs at a child, or even an adult. So yes, ban them. It will be much safer for the wildlife and much more pleasant for the rest of us. People cannot predict how a town dog will react in open coutryside, with strange smells and sounds. Much better safe than sorry.
Every gateway has a sign saying that dogs must be on leads, but owners seem to think that it doesn't apply to their precious animals. We've visited Bolton Abbey regularly for about 40 years and I would say that far fewer than half the dogs have been on leads. If you point it out, you get a shifty look or, more often, abuse. A large, excited dog is VERY frightening if it runs at a child, or even an adult. So yes, ban them. It will be much safer for the wildlife and much more pleasant for the rest of us. People cannot predict how a town dog will react in open coutryside, with strange smells and sounds. Much better safe than sorry. Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Thu 27 Dec 12

jonathancrewdson says...

Whilst I certainly understand why this is being put forward my understanding is it might not be legally possible for them to do this.

It all depends on whether the route through Strid Wood is a public right of way or not. If it is then case law has established that dogs have the same right of way as their owners so long as they are under control. If, however, it is a voluntary right of way then my understanding is the landowner can do pretty much anything they want.
Whilst I certainly understand why this is being put forward my understanding is it might not be legally possible for them to do this. It all depends on whether the route through Strid Wood is a public right of way or not. If it is then case law has established that dogs have the same right of way as their owners so long as they are under control. If, however, it is a voluntary right of way then my understanding is the landowner can do pretty much anything they want. jonathancrewdson
  • Score: 0

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