What do you think about dogs exercising on sports fields?

Profile image for Central Somerset Gazette

By Central Somerset Gazette | Thursday, November 22, 2012, 11:00

Should dog owners be allowed to exercise their animals on the sports fields at Tor Sport and Leisure Centre in Glastonbury?

Glastonbury Town Council wants to know your views – and so do we.

"I have had reports of dog owners driving up to the field, opening the doors and letting the dog out, to run all over the fields and do its business. When it's finished, they just open up the doors again, the dog jumps in and off they go," Councillor Ian Tucker, the mayor of Glastonbury told the town council at its last meeting.

"Obviously, I have had complaints from members of the netball and cricket clubs about this, who play on those pitches. It's just not hygienic."

He said Avalon Leisure, which currently holds the lease to the centre are considering creating a new pathway, away from the sports pitches, that would provide a more interesting route for dog walkers.

"I want to know what members of the public think about this," he said. "Obviously, we need to come to an amicable compromise – we don't want to stop the dog owners from coming to the site, but they have to understand that it's not acceptable for them to let their dogs foul on the sports pitches where people play."

Councillor Hugh Sharp said it was disgusting that people were allowing their animals to foul on the sports grounds.

"Almost every other sports ground or park has signs up warning of the dangers of toxocariasis," he said. "Can you imagine the repercussions if a child contracted the infection and lost their sight because of it?"

But Councillor Jim Barron played devil's advocate, saying the onus should be on dog owners to be more responsible.

"Don't penalise all dog owners, just because a few don't bother to tidy up after their animals," he said.

Would you like to see a new path installed on the playing fields for dog walkers, or do you think animals should be banned from the ground altogether?

Write to the Editor at editor@midsomnews.co.uk or at Central Somerset Gazette, Southover, Wells, Somerset BA5 1UH.



  • Profile image for sexualdevil

    That would be against the HRA and anyway it's a tory who cleans up the field. Now if you were talking about culling tories than that's a different matter.

    By sexualdevil at 20:34 on 02/12/12

  • Profile image for sexualdevil

    The item was about dogs as there has been a number of complaints about owners allowing their dogs to roam the field and mess. I take your point about cats though and agree it is also a problem.

    By sexualdevil at 20:31 on 02/12/12

  • Profile image for Glastonbury Dogwalkers

    I feel compelled to write a reply to your article 'What do you think about dogs exercising on Sports Fields?' in last weeks paper. Tor Leisure field is a great space in which dogs should be able to run freely and play, but always be with their owners who are responsible for picking up their dogs mess. There are three bins at each entry/exit available to use for this purpose. Anyone who feels it's acceptable to park up, release their dog, let them mess over the ground and fail to pick it up should be prosecuted as the signs' suggest. Is CCTV available for this purpose? Who are these people? Do they have any shame? Is it also these people who let their dogs foul the pavements in Glastonbury's town also? My children, unfortunately are now accustomed to stepping over dog mess on the way to school. So it appears the dangers of Toxocariasis are everywhere in Glastonbury not just in the sports field in question. The majority of dog owners, who use the field pick up their dogs mess and respect the fact that it is a sports field.

    I don't think the solution is a path. I use the field with my dog and walk others peoples' dogs there too. The beauty of the Tor Leisure field is that it is open, flat, safe and has space for dogs to run and play. Being limited to a pathway I'm assuming, would mean having your dog on a lead? Nobody goes there to walk their dog on a lead, unless it needs to be for whatever reason. There really has to be a way of ensuring that responsible dog owners can still use this facility and not be penalised because of the few who are not responsible for their dogs mess. As for banning animals from the field, I'm not sure how you'd prevent the foxes, cats, rodents, badgers and any other wild creatures from using the field as a toilet!?

    By Glastonbury Dogwalkers at 09:52 on 29/11/12

  • Profile image for NiceGuyKoresh

    Forget the cats and dogs, just keep the ****ing Tories off the land - they'll ruin it quicker than any canines or felines.

    By NiceGuyKoresh at 19:30 on 27/11/12

  • Profile image for martinwheeler

    "A complete ban is the best idea."

    So -- how are you going to include all the local cats in that ?
    If you ban all dogs -- then you must ban all cats, too. (Filthy, horrible, dirty, murdering vicious creatures -- why can't this town enact a bye-law *prohibiting* free-roaming cats -- make their owners keep them locked up within their own premises, as in some states of Australia. Dogs are already subject to this kind of restriction.) And remember -- cats outnumber dogs by a very large factor -- in some places in the UK, by 7:1.

    Or is all this just a cunning move by local Councillors trying to reduce overall usage of the field, so that they can then make loadsamoney by selling it off to property developers to concrete over ?

    By martinwheeler at 17:16 on 27/11/12

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