Professional dog walkers flock to Hampstead Heath to avoid £300 licences at Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill

09:00 19 April 2014

More dogs than ever before are being professionally walked on Hampstead Heath according to the Heath constabulary. Picture: Nigel Sutton

More dogs than ever before are being professionally walked on Hampstead Heath according to the Heath constabulary. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

More dogs are being exercised on Hampstead Heath than ever before as professional walkers flock to the green acres following the introduction of licences at other parks.

Royal Parks, which manages Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, introduced paid licences for commercial dog walkers last April.

But many have dodged the fees and switched to the Heath instead, according to the head of the Hampstead Heath Constabulary, Richard Gentry.

He said: “More and more people are coming to Hampstead Heath with their dogs in general and dog control for us is very important.

“We’re going to engage more with commercial dog walkers and other people with groups of dogs.

“We want to make sure the Heath is safe and pleasant for all users.

“There are concerns that people with large groups of dogs are not always able to keep an eye on all of them, or to pick up after each of their dogs.

“There are also fears around safety and that the dogs may act as a pack.”

The increase in dog walking will be the Heath police force’s prime focus over the next 12 months, with a series of engagement projects aimed primarily at commercial walkers.

Mr Gentry believes the rise is largely down to the introduction of licences for commercial dog walkers at the Royal Parks, which cost £300 a year and has resulted in many of them switching to the Heath, free of charge.

He revealed the constabulary dealt with 92 dog-related incidents in 2013, compared with 45 – less than half – five years ago in 2009.

There were three prosecutions against dog owners in 2013, but dozens more received formal warnings.

The Heath welcomes about one million dogs per year, according to the City of London Corporation.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

57 minutes ago
Tom Franklin, Camden Green Party

The chairman of Camden’s Green Party branch has denied sitting down in front of a tank on its way to an arms fair.

Pauline Cafferkey as she was discharged from the Royal Free in January

A Scottish nurse being treated at the Royal Free Hospital for a late complication of the Ebola virus is in a “serious condition”, the team treating her has said.

New Wetherspoon pub opening in Muswell Hill

A controversial Wetherspoon pub is opening next week on Muswell Hill Broadway.

Dr Tomas Lindahl has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Picture: The Francis Crick Institute

A Highgate scientist has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering research on DNA repair in cells.

Royal Free Hospital. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin

A Scottish nurse treated for Ebola has returned to the Royal Free Hospital after developing an “unusual late complication” of the infection.

North London coach Greg Mackett coaching cricket in Rwanda

A North London cricket coach has flown to Rwanda to help fight the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

Breda Athan helped treat three Ebola patients at the Royal Free

A senior nurse who led on the treatment of three Ebola patients at the Royal Free Hospital has been honoured at the Nursing Times Leaders awards 2015.

Police attended as a group of travellers arrived at the Liddell Road site. Picture by local resident, 'Jon'

A group of travellers has moved into a council-owned site in West Hampstead, prompting a short-lived standoff with the police.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder