Dartmoor dog walkers could be fined £ 500 for leaving their pets off leash

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Now Dartmoor could ban dogs: Walkers could be fined £ 500 for leaving their pets off leash during lambing and bird nesting season

  • Dartmoor National Park Authority seeks to toughen regulations for visitors
  • Could make advice for dogs on a 2m leash become law
  • Stricter measures in response to farmers seeing cattle repeatedly attacked by dogs
  • The a famous beauty spot could also ban wild camping, overnight stays in caravans and group barbecues










Dog owners who leave their pets off leash on Dartmoor could be fined £ 500 if a proposed rule change is accepted.

Currently, people walking their dogs are advised to keep them on a leash on common moors during lambing and ground nesting season.

But a plan to change the park’s regulations could make it law of the land.

It comes as the Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) seeks to take a tougher stance on visitors following a series of bad behavior during the pandemic.

Dog owners who leave their pets off leash on Dartmoor could be fined £ 500 if a proposed rule change is accepted

Currently, people walking their dogs are advised to keep them on a leash on common moors during lambing and ground nesting season.  But a plan to change park regulations could make it law of the land

Currently, people walking their dogs are advised to keep them on a leash on common moors during lambing and ground nesting season. But a plan to change park regulations could make it law of the land

Other changes could ban wild camping, overnight stays in caravans and group barbecues. They are included in a consultation that is open until November 1.

A document posted online shows the addition of the line: “Between March 1 and July 31 of each year, all dogs must be kept on a short leash with a maximum length of 2 meters.

Park authorities also want to limit any visitor to a maximum of six dogs.

Neil Cole, a sheep farmer from Dartmoor, said he was supporting the harsher line after seeing his cattle repeatedly attacked by dogs.

He said: “We are getting more and more cases of dog worries, dog attacks, just dogs disturbing wildlife as the number of dogs increases.

“The large number of dogs and people here has a huge impact on the environment and on us as farmers.”

The park authority could also ban wild camping due to the bad behavior that skyrocketed during the pandemic.  Pictured: A tent and fire pit left behind by campers on Dartmoor

The park authority could also ban wild camping due to the bad behavior that skyrocketed during the pandemic. Pictured: A tent and fire pit left behind by campers on Dartmoor

Ground-based lambing and nesting seasons run from March to the end of July – when park councils encourage dog owners to keep their pets on a leash.

Dog owner Rod Alsford, of Moretonhampstead, Devon, said that would be “going too far”.

“I think it’s overkill. The rules are already in place for people to control their dogs, it’s absolutely unnecessary.

A spokesperson for the DNPA said, “We are doing this to make sure the regulations are fit for purpose and help protect the national park for all to enjoy today and tomorrow.

“Updating the statutes is an important topic for anyone who cares about Dartmoor. “

What could the rule changes be for Dartmoor National Park?

Dartmoor National Park currently has several bylaws in place to protect its wildlife, habitats, cultural heritage, archeology, and the livestock that graze on common land.

However, the current beauty site regulations were passed in 1989 and are therefore now over 30 years old.

Because the park has seen a change in visitor habits over the years, the authority seeks to impose new rules and directions.

Some of the changes are also taking a stronger stance on bad behavior, including litter, which is on the rise with people wanting to go on vacation during the pandemic.

In a rule change on the “Parking”, a new regulation would prevent people from “occupying or sleeping” in the caravans around the park between 9 pm and 9 am.

For camping, the rules could be tightened to prevent people from erecting tents for more than three people or using trees to set up hammocks. There is already a rule preventing campers from staying in one place for more than two nights.

There are strict new rules for disposable barbecues, which effectively prohibit them if they “cause fire, damage or damage the earth or vegetation”.

Fireworks, Chinese lanterns and flares should also be banned.

Dog walkers will be required to keep their pets on a leash anywhere on park access land “between March 1 and July 31,” to coincide with lambing and nesting season.

The rule changes can be viewed online and are included in a consultation that is open until November 1.

Source: Dartmoor National Park Authority


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