Dogs’ pitch invasions lead to fine warnings in Bury

St Olaves Road  football pitches were fenced to stop dog fouling but dog walkers are using them
as a safe place to let dogs off leads.
Picture Mark Westley
St Olaves Road football pitches were fenced to stop dog fouling but dog walkers are using them as a safe place to let dogs off leads. Picture Mark Westley

Fencing intended to keep dogs off football pitches has made them ideal for people to let their pooches loose.

But dog owners at a meeting of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (HEART) on Monday were warned by councillors that they could face £80 fines if they are caught there.

The pitches on the Howard Estate were fenced off after money was provided by the Premier League, Football Association and from local councillors’ locality budgets in 2015 because dog fouling was such a problem.

HEART chairman Ernie Broom said: “People go in and let their dogs off the lead because they can’t run away there. Most of the dog owners are a brilliant bunch, it’s the ones who don’t pick up their mess.”

He said a fenced dog exercise area was suggested, but he wondered where it could go.

Joanna Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Cabinet member for leisure, said: “We were able to discuss how the fencing and Public Space Protection Order are working for the wider community and get some useful feedback. I have committed to investigating a suggestion that an alternative fenced area be provided as a dedicated dog park.”