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PAUSE FOR PAWS: Council suspend controversial ban on taking dogs off-lead at nature reserve

 Published on: 5th February 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

Bentley Priory Nature Reserve in Stanmore has been temporarily excluded from a Public Spaces Protection Order with regards to dog controls after residents loudly opposed newly introduced rules.

Last year, Harrow Council ran a borough-wide consultation on how best to tackle anti-social behaviour. Respondents voted overwhelmingly in favour of keeping dogs on leads at Sites of Special Scientific Interest, including at the popular 250-acre Bentley Priory, where the council had received numerous complaints about out-of-control dogs. From January 1, dogs were to be kept on leads, and anyone who broke the rule would be fined £100.

The controversial move sparked debate in Stanmore, with a number of dog owners arguing that the new policy was an “overreaction” and that it was a “crying shame” that dogs would no longer be able to run freely in their local park.

Following such criticism, Harrow Council has now suspended the ban on having dogs off-lead at the nature reserve and plans to launch a new consultation specific to Bentley Priory.

Harrow councillor Zak Wagman, who represents Stanmore Ward, said: “We’ve heard that lots of people aren’t happy, and we’ve decided to launch a new consultation specific to dogs at Bentley Priory.”

Leader of Harrow Council councillor Paul Osborn has confirmed that until this second consultation is complete, there will be no enforcement of the rule outlawing off-lead dogs at Bentley Priory.

Photo credit: Des Blenkinsopp

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