MORE VIEWS ON CAMDEN'S DOG RESTRAINT PROPOSALS

Letters from Bob Hall, Peter Compton, Meg Mattinson, Marion Bunzi and A. Farlow I would like to take this opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding with respect to the City of London Corporation s proposals to implement some elements of the Dog Contro

Letters from Bob Hall, Peter Compton, Meg Mattinson, Marion Bunzi and A. Farlow

I would like to take this opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding with respect to the City of London Corporation's proposals to implement some elements of the Dog Control Order which is being considered by the London Borough of Camden.

If appointed by Camden as its agent, the City's proposal is to introduce just three aspects of the Dog Control Order. Under the Dog Control Orders (Prescribed Offences and Penalties etc) Regulations 2006 it would be an offence on the Heath to:

q Fail to remove dog faeces;


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q Permit a dog to enter any of the fenced play areas on the Heath;

q Have one person in charge of more than four dogs.

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Despite rumours to the contrary, I want to reassure your readers that there is absolutely no intention to bring forward any restrictions other than those referred to above.

In particular there is no plan to force dog owners or walkers to put dogs on a lead on any part of the Heath where such action is not so required at present.

The purpose of the introduction of these measures is to ensure that dog walkers maintain control and that the wildlife on the Heath is protected.

Bob Hall

Chairman, Hampstead Heath Management Committee

City of London Corporation

I have been visiting Waterlow Park for at least 60 years, firstly with my parents who have always had dogs. For the last 30 years I have walked my various dogs and continue to do so today, with my current dog Millie.

I am now 68 and enjoy my walks up to the park as I live almost next door. I go at least three times a day and have only on one occasion seen any aggressive behaviour from a drunk with two very large dogs who threatened me.

Mostly during the winter months or when it rains the only people you'd see in Waterlow Park are dog walkers exercising themselves and their dogs. Many are elderly like myself and take their time strolling around the park, stopping and talking to each other and showing some social concern when some well-known walker or other hasn't turned up as to the well being of the owner and their dog.

Like myself these people are the ears and eyes of the parks.

Camden Council's planned new rules for all dog walkers is being rushed, with no proper consultation with the people who would be most affected by these new rules.

I urge everyone opposed to these new regulations to write with their objections to Cllr Flick Rea and to council chief executive Moira Gibb. The parks and open spaces belong to the people who live and pay their council taxes.

Peter Compton

Lulot Gardens, N19

THE reason I chose to make my life in London (in the 1950s) was the freedom to be able to walk my dog on Hampstead Heath, Waterlow Park, Highgate Woods and Cherry Tree Wood, and the brookside walks in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The Heath was an oasis from the countryside - no snares and gin traps, no gamekeepers, no sheep or even motorised traffic disturbed this refuge.

All dogs need plenty of free- running exercise. To deprive them of their natural movement would be to make them unhealthy and unhappy.

Dogs are, and always have been, our first friends (and our best friends). They came to live with us even before the ice age. They came of their own accord and ever since then have given us total loyalty and companionship unequalled. At times they voluntarily save our lives, sometimes even risking their own lives (no man has greater love than this).

We should rejoice that we have this gift of friendship (and often unrewarded service). We should celebrate dogs and give them the space they need and deserve - a proper place in our society and room to be free and to be with us, their chosen family.

MEG MATTINSON

Fortis Green, N2

CAMDEN COUNCIL'S plan to restrict free running dogs to small exercise areas is a recipe for noisy mayhem - just imagine! The majority of dog owners keep their dogs under control even when off the lead and clean up (especially where there are dog waste bins).

As with any activity, there are always the careless, the irresponsible, and the downright wicked who give rise to the occasional awful incidents that are reported.

But there are already sufficient laws in place to deal with such people and their dogs if they are caught. Such people will continue their behaviour regardless and the new laws will not make it any easier to catch them.

I have been walking generations of dogs on the Heath for over 40 years, and I have never come across anything other than reasonably behaved dogs (and people).

Marian Bunzl

NW3

A few years ago English Heritage had a similar consultation when they wished to change the byelaws regarding dogs on leads at Kenwood.

At the time I distributed literally hundreds of documents detailing their proposals and how to register concern with DEFRA. I think that the number of objections registered was 57 but the changes were approved by the appropriate minister and implemented by EH. I have never been able to access the results despite numerous requests.

Similarly, when EH introduced charges in the car park at Kenwood there was a public consultation and once again the results have never been publicised.

I have also asked EH on many occasions whether members of EH would be exempt from parking fees but am still waiting for a response.

Byelaws on the Heath have always given managers the power to ban owners and their dogs from the Heath if a dog is out of control. I would have thought that these powers were quite enough.

A Farlow

Lyndale Avenue, NW2

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