Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee have endorsed funding for a pilot project to create a Dog Exercise Area in St Columb’s Park.
The approval follows a motion at Full Council in September where Members agreed that Council would ‘explore the possibility of creating dog exercise areas where a dog can be let off their lead safely in a fenced off area’.
Chair of Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Ruairi McHugh, welcomed the approval of the project which has an estimated cost of £8,000 – £10,000 for fencing, signage and gates.
“I would like to thank Council Officers for bringing the project to this key stage,” he said. “Dog Exercise Areas can create a space where dogs can be let off their leads to release energy, mix with other dogs and boost the health of both the pet and their owners.
“Initiating a pilot project within the Council area will allow our Green Infrastructure team to review the benefits of a separate Dog Exercise Area in the context of our dog control areas.
“Specifically it will allow Council to monitor if the public use the facility to exercise dogs or if owners prefer to use the wider park.
“We can also monitor issues such as the level of dog fouling and any other concerns relating to dog control incidents.”
Committee Members heard at Wednesday’s meeting that the pilot park could be located near the tennis courts in St Columb’s Park which could be enclosed and subdivided for different sizes of dog with a post and wire fence.
This could provide two self-regulated spaces where owners could exercise their small and large dogs in enclosed spaces.
Depending on the outcome of the pilot, Council could then consider the addition of further dog exercise parks elsewhere subject to resources in the Council area.
Members were told that Council could also consider whether it would be appropriate to modify the existing dog control orders to keep dogs on leads at all times outside the allocated dog exercise areas.Tags: