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Clampdown on nuisance dogs in Victoria Park Bideford

Victoria Park Bideford Drone Picture

Victoria Park Bideford Drone Picture

Torridge District Council have launched a renewed campaign to stamp out a rising tide of dog nuisance incidents in Victoria Park, in the centre of Bideford. The park was opened in 1912 and as the name suggests celebrating the reign of Queen Victoria. The current facilities include a paddling pool, playground complex, football, rugby and general sports pitches. Well used by local families and visitors alike, the park has been at the centre of an increasing number of complaints about dogs causing a nuisance. Reported incidents have covered fouling, and dogs being allowed to run free off their leads and causing annoyance to other users. Escalated officer patrols have recently led to numerous occasions where it has been necessary to speak with owners to place their dogs on a lead and abide by the legislation covering the park.

The council now plans to enforce on the spot fines of £100 to anyone not complying with the regulations, which already exist under the district-wide dog Public Space Protection Order. The order covers fouling, dogs on leads and dog exemption areas. Victoria park is one of only two places in the district where dogs must be kept on a lead at all times. The aim of the designation is to allow people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy the park, without being unnecessarily upset or pestered by other people's dogs. There are already areas connected to the main park such as the King George V Playing fields and rugby pitches, where dogs can roam freely with a proviso that owners clean up after their pets.

New signage has been placed at every entrance explaining the requirement for dogs to be on a lead inside the park, and this has been reinforced with prominent signage on refuse bins and elsewhere. The areas where dogs can be let off a lead have also had new signage installed.

Staci Dorey, the Councils Head of Legal and Governance said:

"Those of us that own and love our dogs must remember that not everyone will feel the same way, and many people are genuinely scared of dogs, however friendly they may be. In the coming months, we will have zero tolerance to dogs being off lead in Victoria Park and offenders will be issued with an immediate fine of £100 if seen ignoring the signage and rules of the order. Owners can still use the designated areas to let their dogs roam freely, but here again, we expect them to clean up after their pets." 


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