Dog walkers urged to keep dogs under control

Tuesday 13th January 2015

Dog walkers urged to keep dogs under control on Burrington Ham Commons

Following a number of recent incidents of dogs attacking cattle Devon Red Cattle sm (photo Mendip Hills AONB Unit 2014)and a significant increase in dog fouling, dog walkers are being urged to keep their dogs under close control and take their dog waste home.

Burrington Ham, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is being managed for its nationally important limestone grassland habitat. Cattle are being used to graze the site in order to control scrub and allow the flower rich grassland to flourish. The grazing is part of a management agreement between the landowner and Natural England

 

Cowslip on Burrington Ham sma (photo Mendip Hills AONB Unit 2014)Burrington Ham is a very popular, accessible site, used by families and school groups and dog fouling is a serious health problem and inconvenience for all users of the site. Dog waste can also pose a serious health risk to the cattle grazing the site. Dog walkers are asked to pick up after their dogs and take the bagged waste home for disposal.

If dogs are kept on a short lead the cattle are unlikely to approach and can get on with their job of controlling vegetation growth on the site. In the unlikely event of feeling threatened by approaching cattle then retreat and, if necessary, let your dog go.

Stuart Bardsley AONB Discovering Black Down Project Officer said “We encourage people to enjoy Burrington Ham responsibly and to be aware that it is agricultural land where grazing animals are used to manage the site to maintain open grassland with a wealth of wild flowers. Keeping dogs under control and clearing up after them helps us care for the site and keep it safe for all users.”

For further information contact: Stuart Bardsley, Discovering Black Down Project Officer, Mendip Hills AONB Unit 01761 462338 sbardsley@somerset.gov.uk