COUNCIL TO CONSIDER PUBLIC VIEWS ON DOG WALKING

Nearly 1,000 people have responded to a council's consultation about commercial dog walking in a "hugely popular" park.

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council said visitors who spoke to staff "were extremely vocal on the subject".

The council is considering introducing measures in Epsom's Nonsuch Park amid concerns about an increase in commercial dog walking.

Councillor Julian Freeman, chair of the Nonsuch Park joint management committee, previously said most dog walkers were responsible but concerns had been raised.

He said the committee was aware the park, on the London border, was "hugely popular" with dog walkers and had seen rising numbers of commercial walkers with multiple dogs.

The committee will look at the results of the consultation at a meeting on Monday, and is set to create a working group to look at commercial dog walking in the park.

Questions on the consultation related to how many dogs people should be able to walk at one time, whether or not commercial dog walkers should have an annual licence, and the proposed cost of a licence.

Comments from respondents included one person saying they no longer walked their dog in Nonsuch Park "due to the number of dogs off leads" and another saying they had "encountered several packs of six or more dogs".

Another person who walked their dog there daily said it was "always a brilliant experience" and another said there were so many "different routes to take" they often didn't come across other people there.

Nearby Tandridge District Council also consulted on dog walking controls in the district after the death of dog walker Natasha Johnston in January 2023.

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