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Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

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Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby CraftsbyCarolyn » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:43 pm

STUNNED dog walkers have been warned that they could face a whopping £1,000 fine if their pet chases a muntjac deer – or even a rabbit or squirrel – after being let off the lead to run in Ampthill Park.

For council chiefs are introducing 'close control zones' in the rambling 170-acre open area where Henry VIII and his courtiers once roamed freely on horseback hunting for venison.

And they claim that people visiting the park must respect the fact they are 'sharing the facility with other animal species' which may fear their pets.

But astonished dog owner Joanne Moore, who was told off by a ranger when he spotted her two cocker spaniels, Flash and Bailey, chased a munjtac, said: "That's bonkers. The ranger told me my dogs were putting the deer under stress. People living in Ampthill a century ago when muntjacs first colonised the park after escaping from the Woburn Estate would just laugh."

Dogs are already banned from the certain parts of the park – including the kiddies' playground, the tennis courts and around the reservoir – which was designed by landscape architect Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 18th century.

But now rangers are being given the power to order people to put their dogs on a lead if they spot the animal 'causing a nuisance' in other areas. Anybody who refuses will be issued with an £80 fixed penalty fine.

Then if they don't pay up, they could be taken to court and face a maximum £1,000 fine.

A spokesman for Ampthill Town Council explained: "We have a responsibility to protect the wildlife as well as providing a facility for people to enjoy.

"Therefore if a ranger feels a dog off the lead could cause a nuisance to people, wildlife or the dog itself, then they will politely request the dog be placed on a lead. Fines will not be hand out unless this is a last resort."

But businesswoman Mrs Moore, from Maulden, said: "I was in Russett's Plantation with my dogs when the ranger approached and asked if I thought it was 'appropriate behaviour' for them to chase the deer.

"I said they had never harmed one or even come close to catching one. And I pointed out that an adult deer, with its horns, was about twice the weight of either of my dogs."

The story had an unhappy ending when rather than risk a fine, a few days later Mrs Moore took her dogs to exercise in a less remote area.

Bailey strayed on to the road and was knocked down by a car. As a result he had to have his front leg amputated



Read more: http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/Dog- ... z44Dyr9njN
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby Costalot » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:55 pm

Note that this was written by our local hack.

On further investigation this applies across Central Beds, namely at http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/community-safety/dog-control/overview.aspx.

At the end of the day it is a power and you would in the first instance get a warning. This applies to the small minority of dog owners that probably shouldn't have a dog in the first place.

:!: :( :!:
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby Sagitar » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:47 pm

In spite of the difference in size, dogs do chase Muntjacs.

About three weeks ago a male Muntjac burst through the hedge at the bottom of our garden, closely pursued by two dogs. All three went through the garden at high speed and disappeared down the Close in the direction of Woburn Street. I don't know what kind of dogs they were. They were in view for a very short time and I got no chance to identify them properly. My impression was that they were pale brown in colour with longish hair and about the size of a King Charles Spaniel. Both dogs were barking and the Muntjac too was making a lot of noise.
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby Chorradas » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:15 am

Costalot wrote:Note that this was written by our local hack.


Not sure just what the relevance of that is, costalot. Perhaps you might care to explain? Anyway, it must be true because it was also in the Daily Telegraph this week.

Park fines pet
owners £1,000
for leash lapse
By Sophie Jamieson
IT IS the sprawling historic park where Henry VIII once enjoyed hunting deer on horseback.
But dogs hoping to give chase to animals at Ampthill Park in Bedfordshire will be foiled by new rules forcing owners to keep pets on a lead.
Dog-walkers in the 170- acre park could face a ne of up to £1,000 if their pet chases wildlife, including rabbits, squirrels and munt- jac deer.
New “close control zones” brought in by the town coun- cil will mean rangers can or- der people to put dogs on a lead if they think they are “causing a nuisance”.
Refusal to comply will re- sult in an £80 xed-penalty ne. Failure to pay could lead to court action and a maximum ne of £1,000.
The rules are designed to ensure visitors respect that they are “sharing the facility with other animal species”.
Dogs are already banned from areas such as the chil- dren’s playground, the ten- nis courts and the reservoir.
Joanne Moore, who walks her two cocker spaniels in the park, said she was told o by a ranger when the pair chased a deer. “The ranger
told me my dogs were putting the deer under stress,” she said. “People liv- ing in Ampthill a century ago when muntjacs rst colo- nised the park after escaping from the Woburn Estate would just laugh.”
The ranger asked the busi- nesswoman if it was “appro- priate behaviour”.
“I said they had never harmed one or even come close to catching one. And I pointed out that an adult deer, with its horns, was
Joanne Moore was told that her two cocker spaniels were ‘putting deer under stress’
about twice the weight of ei- ther of my dogs,” she said.
A council spokesman said: “We have a responsibility to protect the wildlife as well as providing a facility for peo- ple to enjoy.
“If a ranger feels a dog o the lead could cause a nui- sance to people, wildlife or the dog itself, then they will politely request the dog be placed on a lead.
“Fines will not be handed out unless this is a last re- sort.”
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby Costalot » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:27 pm

it must be true because it was also in the Daily Telegraph this week


Well it must be true if it's in the Torygraph :!:
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby busylady » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:51 pm

Went up today with my dog, he often chases squirrels up the trees and rabbits down their burrows. could not catch a deer though far to lazy to keep going. I did notice that there are hardly any rabbits compared to previous years and similarly not so many squirrels, this may be down to all the trees missing and undergrowth.
I only saw one ranger , who was busy racing about on the buggy thing not sure what he was doing really.
The park looks very sad at the moment and with all the dog walkers being put off by this it makes me wonder if the lovely people who run the hub will lose out financially as many of the dog walkers grab a drink there and food on a regular basis . Such a sad state of affairs really.
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby Chorradas » Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:33 pm

The row rumbles on with another letter in the BoS today:

Letters:​
That's a bit rich!
By Bedfordshire On Sunday | Posted: April 10, 2016


'WE have a responsibility to protect the wildlife...', BoS, 27.03.16 re Ampthill Park and the new fines for dogwalkers.

How rich is that of a council who have sanctioned the felling of trees and the drubbing up of scrub and thickets? All of which provided protection, sanctuary, food and shelter to all sorts of wildlife!

As for the rangers fining dog owners for their dogs chasing vermin – they would be better employed and serve a more useful purpose issuing £80 fixed penalties to the human vermin who continually leave all sorts of rubbish around the park, especially after a fine weekend and also especially during the weeks when 'the school are off'.

As a dog owner who always picks up his dogs' mess, I am fed up with picking up less considerate humans' litter and general rubbish – doing the rangers' job! Protect wildlife, then remove rubbish!

Mr Gunns
Harrow Piece
Maulden
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby Chorradas » Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:30 pm

Oh dear, Ampthill Park is back in the news. But it's that naughty journalist chap again who all right-thinking people (like the town's councillors) seem to rather dislike:

http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/8203 ... story.html

Calls for Ampthill council to quit over park spat
By Bedfordshire On Sunday | Posted: April 16, 2016
By Mal Tattersall

ANGRY residents have accused councillors of being 'controlling morons' and called for their resignation after dog owners were told they faced fines of up to £1,000 if they let their pets off the lead in a historic park.

Frustrated Ampthill people vented their fury on an internet Facebook page set up by town councillor Mark Smith – with one person accusing Smith and his colleagues of running 'The People's Republic of Ampthill' and another blasting the council for being 'empire-building busybodies'.

Jools Martin fumed: "This is yet another in a nonsensical series of nanny state rules and regulations that legislate against the 99 per cent of responsbile people."

Anger has mounted in the historic Georgian market town since contractors axed hundreds of trees in a Lottery-funded bid to return the park to how it looked when 18th century landscape architect Capability Brown designed it.

Then councillors decided to introduce 'close control zones' where dog owners would have to keep their pets on a lead so they didn't chase wildlife, including muntjac deer, squirrels and rabbits.

Maulden company director Joanne Moore described the situation as 'bonkers' after she was ticked off by a warden who told her her two cocker spaniels could be putting deer 'under stress' while running free.

Now people posting on the Ampthill Info site have accused Smith and his council colleagues of destroying the animals' natural habitat with their park 'tidy-up'.

Paul Rigby said: "If you hadn't chopped all the habitat down then the wildlife would have somewhere to hide and feel safe. Unbelievable.

"You should all resign."

Bedfordshire on Sunday has contacted Ampthill Town Council for comment.

Read more: http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/8203 ... z46BURm7TI
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby SCRABBLER » Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:59 am

Things have really got to a pretty pass, when the Might of the Town Council has little else to do but issue dictats about dogs on leads.
Until recently, before the debacle of Visions of Grandeur and Capability Brown, the Townspeople and visitors could walk their dogs happily
in the Park providing they observed the rule of "pick up, as they go". Now it seems this state of affairs has changed because it might just happen
that the dogs might just chase the wild life, which I expect up until now, they always did without much ever coming to harm.
Ah! Me! It would seem that our Town Council is becoming more like Brussels everyday.
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby sizzla » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:48 am

SCRABBLER wrote:Things have really got to a pretty pass, when the Might of the Town Council has little else to do but issue dictats about dogs on leads.
Until recently, before the debacle of Visions of Grandeur and Capability Brown, the Townspeople and visitors could walk their dogs happily
in the Park providing they observed the rule of "pick up, as they go". Now it seems this state of affairs has changed because it might just happen
that the dogs might just chase the wild life, which I expect up until now, they always did without much ever coming to harm.
Ah! Me! It would seem that our Town Council is becoming more like Brussels everyday.


I for one am delighted that the Town Council doesn't have more serious things to deal with. It's easy to forget how lucky we are here in Ampthill compared to most other places.
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby SCRABBLER » Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:19 pm

Ampthil is a very nice to place to live, quiet, rural by nature and a very nice community to live within. However whilst one must count one's blessings
one can also feel a bit disconcerted by the way certain things have been handled in the recent months over a green space, that until now, has been
a joy for everybody to enjoy. Now it seems that we must all adhere to regulations put in place because the Town Council wishes to create 'past glories'
which may, or may not, have been a joy to the owner's of Ampthill House back in the 17/18th century.
You will probably not remember Sizzla, but when the routes for Ampthill By Pass were under consideration, one of the routes was across the top of the
Park, taking the road North of Ampthill. We fought the County Council tooth and nail over that, so that we could all still enjoy the Park, which was then
considered by the Town Council as a recreational space for Ampthill, hence the cricket ground, football space and tennis club. There was also a plan to have
a swimming pool in the Park. So you will understand why some of us get slightly upset by the present 'carry-on'.
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Re: Ampthill Park - fines for dogs

Postby oceanbreeze » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:33 pm

Good point there Scrabbler---that was a close call over the routes for the bypass.
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