A Message from Richard Brown, Wildlife Development Officer (HCC)

Now that the weather is improving, more people are bringing their dogs into the park for some exercise. Unfortunately, some of the owners are not being very responsible and are allowing their dogs to chase the wildfowl we have in the park.

East Park has a lot of bird species that live on and around the lake, which are been harassed by some dogs, this will disrupt their breeding routine. The same also applies to the squirrels in the park and the animals in the animal paddocks.

Dogs not under control can cause accidents with vehicles and the parks visitors and end up falling into the lake! Not all visitors like dogs, and to a small child a small dog can seem very frightening.

It is worth remembering that sections of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, may apply to dog owners who fail to control their animals and whose animal subsequently injures any wildlife.

Another problem on the park at the moment is a massive increase in dog mess.It takes only a few seconds to pick up after your dog and this small action not only helps keeps the park clean, , it potentially stops a child or adult becoming infected with Toxocariasis, an illness of humans caused by a larvae of either the dog roundworm (Toxocara canis) or the cat roundworm (Toxocara cati).

This very unpleasant infection can cause allsorts of nasty reactions such as headache, rash, cough, asthma, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, and occasionally, blindness.

Please remember to clean up after your dogs. Remember the larvae from dog mess stays active for five years in the soil.