A newly introduced public spaces protection order in Stanmore has sparked vociferous discourse amongst residents.
Dog walkers must now ensure their pet is on a lead when walking through Bentley Priory Nature Reserve.
Some residents share their displeasure with the decision on The Stanmore Group Facebook page, with some going so far as to accuse the council of being “intolerant” and “against dogs”.
Deputy Leader of Harrow Council and Stanmore councillor Marilyn Ashton explained that the reserve is not a park and is designated as a site of special scientific interest, which is the highest protection a site can be afforded.
According to cllr Ashton, a number of complaints had been received after dogs had been allowed to roam freely, including reports of chasing and intimidation, whilst in one incident a dog allegedly killed a swan.
She added: “The council has been approached many times to introduce this requirement. As a result, the council did a thorough consultation and it was overwhelmingly the case that four times more people responded in favour of keeping dogs on a leash on Bentley Priory Nature Reserve. And the number of respondents were in the hundreds.
“The reserve is a marvel, the beauty of it! We must do our best to preserve it and the wellbeing of people who like to visit it.”
Photo credit: Dudley Miles