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dogs in nature reserves?

alianar 8 82 2 England
24 Aug 2010 1:23PM
hi Smile
before i say what i am about to say can i please say that i have no objections towards dogs themselves and understand that they have been tamed and domesticated over the years.
there is a very nice river by my house that i regularly use for wildlife photography, there are over 50 nesting birds there and other wildlife include kingfisher, otter, roe deer, buzzard, kestrel, heron, egret etc.
but unless you go earlier than 5AM it is packed with dogs and they are about the only animals visible because most of the others are scared off. around the area are many fields and parks so i think it would be more appropriate to walk them there.
heres one of many examples i have. i go down the river and see a kingfisher having trouble fishing from his tree as it is not directly over the water, eventually he gives up and goes down river, i pick up a dead branch and stick it in the water. about 40 minutes later he returned he flew towards the branch on the tree but changed his mind to my perch. i watch him fish and he catches a big juicy minnow, he then flies off downstream and i know that this could become one of his favorite perches. so i get into position to photograph him. at that moment a dog with a careless owner jumps into the water removes the perch and leaves!? now its not the perch i was worried about, because i can always put another in. its the fact that the owner didnt care. what if it was a bird? because no matter how much you domesticate a dog it will always have that instinct inside them. now as i have said i have no objections to dogs, its just that i think that they should be in fields and parks and not nature reserves.
as always i appreciated all responses to this thread regardless of if it being for or against my opinion.

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lobsterboy Plus
14 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2010 1:40PM
It depends on the reserve, some welcome dogs, some don't - I know one or two that don't let people in.

Our local reserve seems to have decided that it is far better to have dog walkers visiting every day who can report problems & vandalism as well as help keep the place litter free. If it wasn't for dog walkers, they would only get a few people visiting on a sunny bank holiday monday and vandalism would be much worse.
User_Removed 10 2.2k 3 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2010 2:13PM
I'd rather not see domestic dogs in the countryside at all, to be honest. It's not so much the dogs that are the problem rather than their owners, who for the most part seem to merely see the countryside as a place to exercise their dogs and their dogs' bowels. The hedgerows around here are liberally decorated with little blue bags of dog poo. Unfortunately it seems that for every responsible and considerate dog owner there's 10 who couldn't give a monkey's.

And don't get me started on Felix Domesticus !
crookymonsta Plus
10 837 10 England
24 Aug 2010 2:18PM
How very frustrating. Our local wildlife trust allow dogs in a very limited number of their sites, the local council seem not to bother at all. I would suggest you contact whoever owns the site and explain the situation to them, they may well decide that the site should be a dog free area.

Dogs running free can be a problem anywhere, I have a labrador puppy I am trying to train and am constantly being approached by dogs, often with no owner in sight. When they finally bother to wander up they invariably complain that my pup is jumping all over their pooch! My 5 year old niece was knocked down and jumped all over a couple of weeks ago and again the owner was nowhere to be seen. As for dog walkers helping to keep anywhere litter free, I would rather have a bit of litter than piles of dog poo, amazing how many people don't bother to pick it up, even on the sports pitches.
alianar 8 82 2 England
24 Aug 2010 2:31PM
ok i will write a letter to the council, anyone with any suggestions on how the letter should be layed out?
brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2010 3:47PM
Aryan - have a look at what the Stanpit Reserve has done about dogs, it may give you a lead (pun not intended but just seen Smile ) and it sets a precedent for our area
RichBrew 7 151 England
24 Aug 2010 4:17PM
It's about time, Brian - though why they can't implement the decision earlier is beyond me. All too often I see dog owners allow their animals to unnecessarily disturb wildlife that has young. Obviously these people don't understand (or care) that this is their home; they live there. Often when they realise they are under scrutiny, and the distress that the dog is causing, the embarrassed owner tries to validate the dog's behaviour by telling me (laughingly) "Oh, he's such a character".

Yeah, right...(buffoon).

Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
24 Aug 2010 4:32PM
We have a nature reserve around us, where dogs are supposed to be on a lead at all times, but nobody ever bothers. If you mention it to the dog owners, you just get abuse.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2010 4:36PM
Rich, I don't know if you followed it but there was a major campaign followed by a postal vote earlier in the year to get public reaction. It was quite close run I believe which is why they didn't want to force the implementation too quickly.

I agree with you about the dogs and their owners, we've had words with some of them before now
alianar 8 82 2 England
24 Aug 2010 5:20PM
brian the reserve must be quite close to you as it is the stour valley one, do you happen to know any of the rules?
brian1208 Plus
14 11.3k 12 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2010 6:43PM
Yes, Stanpit is about 5 minutes away and we use it a lot but the Stour Valley a little further away. I'm not sure of any rules applying there re: dogs but have some members of my camera club who are active in the Stour Valley reserve so will try to find out from them
alianar 8 82 2 England
24 Aug 2010 6:59PM
ok thanks! Smile
StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
24 Aug 2010 7:10PM

Quote:We have a nature reserve around us, where dogs are supposed to be on a lead at all times, but nobody ever bothers. If you mention it to the dog owners, you just get abuse.

It's the same everywhere Bri.Sad
BigRick 12 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
24 Aug 2010 8:48PM
Me and my wife went to an RSPB reserve at the weekend, and it said dogs on leads and controlled at all times.... however this was not the case, and i had to spend my 'walk' looking about 2 feet in front of me due to the massive amount of 'poo' on the path.

We then had two people come towards us with their two large dogs, off the lead, and one of the dogs ran up to us and slobbered on my trousers then went to do the same to my wife... until i intervened.... needless to say the owners thought i was out of order, until i pointed out that it was them in the wrong.... they wouldnt have it though... and it ruined my outing to a 'bird reserve' / dog poo drop off point.

I wont be going back....

however, our local reserve RSPB Frampton Marsh has a no dog policy... at all. It makes for a nice walk as you can look around you instead of looking at your feet, and there are no bags hanging from fences either.
RichBrew 7 151 England
25 Aug 2010 6:38AM

Quote:... and there are no bags hanging from fences either.

This intrigues me. Who do these people who deposit these packages think is going to come along and clean it up? Maybe I've missed something, and there's special squads employed perform the task.


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