Owners could face £100 fine if they let dogs off their lead in country park

Owners who let dogs off their lead in parts of Upton Country Park could face a £100 fine under new council proposals that residents are being urged to share their views on.

Sunday, 20th December 2020, 2:52 pm
Updated Sunday, 20th December 2020, 2:56 pm
Northampton Borough Council wants to enforce dogs being kept on leads at Upton Country Park.

A consultation was launched on Friday (December 18) to see whether residents will back the proposals after sheep that graze on the land were attacked by dogs several times during the year.

The borough council wants to amend a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which covers the area to prohibit dogs being off leads in the new section of the park, which stretches up towards Kislingbury.

PSPOs can lawfully ban specific activities from taking place in specific public places so as to stop anti-social behaviour.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday (December 16), Councillor Mike Hallam, the cabinet member for the environment at Northampton Borough Council, said: “This just kick starts a consultation process to vary the PSPO, in particular the phase two area of Upton Country Park. This is in response to a number of issues with dogs being off a lead and affecting the sheep.

“There are some lovely sheep that are grazing in that area and they have been attacked, and one of those incidents was just last week. So this is getting enforcement around that so that dogs are kept on leads.”

Signage is in place across the park stating that dogs should remain on leads at all times, but there are no current legal means of enforcing it. A change to the PSPO would mean breaches of this guidance are subject to a £100 fixed-penalty notice.

Anyone wanting to share their views on the proposed PSPO can take part in an online questionnaire at www.northampton.gov.uk/uptonparkpspo. The consultation will remain open until January 29.

Councillor Hallam added: “It is vital that dog walkers are responsible and keep their pets on a lead, changes to this PSPO will be enforceable and protect the sheep in the park.

“The questionnaire only takes a few minutes to complete and I encourage as many people as possible to take part and have their say. Together we can make a difference and drive changes in our local communities.”