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Owners up in arms over Exeter field dog ban

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

By Anne Byrne

Dog mess

The field is owned by Exeter College, which said it initiated the ban following complaints about dog mess

Comments (4)

EXETER dog walkers have been banned from a field they have used for decades to exercise their pets.

Without warning, notices appeared banning dogs from the Sheep Field by the 100 Club in Countess Wear.

The field is owned by Exeter College, which said it initiated the ban following complaints about dog mess.

A Countess Wear resident, who did not wish to be named, said that since the field was closed to dog walkers she has to walk her two dogs around the streets.

She said: "Around the streets is the only place – there is nowhere now for the dogs to have a good run off the lead. We can take them down to the woodland but that is quite a distance.

"One of our dogs is only eight months old so she needs a lot of exercise.

"Dogs have always been exercised on that field. They were exercised there when my children were small 30 years ago.

"There are a lot of people who walk their dogs there – there were about eight to 10 when I was there the other day.

"I can understand that dog mess is an issue, but we always pick up after ours and it is such a shame it has been ruined by a few who don't.

"Our dogs are only allowed to run along by the hedges on the edge so they are not in the middle on the playing fields.

"It would be good if they set aside an area for the dogs."

Steve Strang, head of estates at Exeter College, said: "The playing fields at Wear Barton are owned and operated by the Exeter College.

"The fields are currently used by the college and its students, as well as the local football club and the college has also permitted recreational use of the fields by the public when the fields are not in use by students.

"We have had increasing complaints of dog fouling and, with the need to safeguard students, we have therefore made the decision to close the entrances to the south of the fields, and to prohibit dogs.

"The public are still able to access the fields, although dogs will no longer be permitted."

Jill Owen, county councillor for Priory which includes Countess Wear, said: "There are sports played on the fields so I can understand why the college is concerned about dogs and mess.

"However, to have done this without consulting anyone seems to be wrong and I think there needs to be a bit of dialogue on this."

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4 comments

  • L_1yntol  |  February 09 2013, 6:51PM

    I am another dog walker that has used this field for many years and have never gone over without a pocket full of poo bags to clean up after them. Unfortunately, the few that don't have spoilt it for my two collies who used to love chasing the ball and now miss the magic word "field". I admit that I used to get cross when I saw dogs mess that had not been picked up but I used to get equally angry over the amount of hazardous litter that my dogs could tread in. Perhaps they should also consider coming down hard on the hooligans that can find nothing better to do than smash bottles, leaving broken glass for students, and in the past, dogs to injure themselves on.

  • pete13  |  February 08 2013, 2:21PM

    I wish we had people in Exmouth who were brave enough to enforce dog control!

    |   1
  • marting2010  |  February 08 2013, 10:57AM

    Same comment as always "i pick up after my dog" but unfortunately not every dog owner does. As far as Exeter College is concerned they own the field so they have every right to ban dogs and they are not under any requirement to hold "consultations"

    |   5
  • LTaylor12  |  February 07 2013, 9:23AM

    Once again the minority spoil it for the majority. A word of warning to the anonymous dog owner who commented that her 8 month old dog 'needs lots of exercise'. Puppys need 5 minutes exercise for every month of their life. At 8 months old a 40 minute walk (20 minutes out and twenty minutes back) is quite sufficient. Too much exercise, especially running off lead is likely to damage the pups bones and joints.

    |   6

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