Dog walkers have to be responsible when on heath

PUBLISHED: 19:56 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:48 11 May 2010

I AM sorry that Angela Malster (Postbag, June 26) took exception to my letter regarding people s responsibilities regarding walking dogs on Therfield Heath. Although the heath may have looked in a satisfactory condition when it was not being grazed due th

I AM sorry that Angela Malster (Postbag, June 26) took exception to my letter regarding people's responsibilities regarding walking dogs on Therfield Heath.

Although the heath may have looked in a satisfactory condition when it was not being grazed due the foot and mouth restrictions, the condition rapidly deteriorated and was classified as poor.

It is only by grazing that the quality of the heath as a Site of Special Scientific Interest can be properly maintained and Natural England, which monitors the condition of the heath, regard sheep grazing as essential.

Although it is a common belief that the various councils pay for the heath, they do not and the general public and dog walkers make no financial contribution to its upkeep.

The main funding comes from rent paid by Royston Golf Club, The Heath Sports Centre and King's Ride Stables, with Natural England making a contribution towards the grazing.

As I said, I used to enjoy walking my dogs on the heath and fully support the right of everybody to walk their dogs and to use the heath for their enjoyment.

But dog walkers are responsible for the their dogs and should not allow them to act in a manner which is anti-social or which causes nuisance.

CLLR ROD KENNEDY

Town Council Representative, Therfield Heath Conservation Joint Advisory Committee

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