February 2011

Some of the most regular users of Alexandra Park are the people who walk dogs. The wide open spaces of the Park provide the opportunity for exercise and social contact, for both the dogs and their owners. Their presence in the Park all through the year, in all weathers does much to enhance the security of the Park.

The vast majority of dog walkers control their dogs well, but the police and park management do receive complaints about aggressive dogs, primarily around the Grove and the playground/boating lake. Young trees planted in these areas have been destroyed by dogs. Also there are adults and children who are scared of dogs, if they are running free.

Mark Evison, the Park Manager is considering how best to limit the nuisance caused by badly controlled dogs, without limiting dog walkers’ freedom to let dogs off the lead in the majority of the Park.

At present the maps of the Park on the notice boards show a number of areas of the Park in which dogs are supposed to be on leads, but these are poorly marked and are probably more extensive than is required. As a result the ‘dogs on leads’ requirement has not been enforced for some time.

Mark would like to hear your views on the re-introduction of limited areas where dogs must be kept on leads, such as the Grove, the Palace promenade, the children's playground, and the boating lake. There are no proposals to require dogs to be on leads in the vast majority of the Park.