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Reconsultation on requirement for dogs to be on lead in Bentley Priory Nature Reserve

Harrow Nature Conservation Forum's view

Towards the end of 2023 the Harrow Nature Conservation Forum was pleased to learn that Harrow Council was going to implement a "Public Space Protection Order" (PSPO) that required dogs to be on a lead at all times in all areas of Bentley Priory Nature Reserve. This followed a public consultation in which a large majority of respondents supported such a rule. Free running dogs cause considerable disturbance to birds and other wildlife and are thought to be a major reason why the number of breeding birds on this lovely site has declined dramatically in recent years. Futhermore, many dog owners have seen their dogs scared or even injured by other people's dogs, and so welcomed the leash rule. For more detail on why we believe that free running dogs damage both the plants and the wildlife of Bentley Priory, see here

You may have heard that Harrow Council has paused implementation of the PSPO and is reconsulting on the scheme. We would be very grateful if all who love Bentley Priory and wish to preserve it as a haven for wildlife would respond to the new consultation - you can access it here. You do not need to be a resident of Harrow to take part in the consultation, which will run until midnight on Sunday 7 April 2024.

While we understand that different people have different views, we suggest that those who want to preserve Bentley Priory for wildlife answer as follows:

Question 9*: The 2023 proposal for Bentley Priory was that dogs would be required to be on a lead at all times throughout all areas of Bentley Priory. The draft document approved by Cabinet in Sept 2023 can be found here. Do you agree or disagree with this proposed requirement for Bentley Priory? Dogs to be on leads at all times in all areas of Bentley Priory ANSWER AGREE

Question 10*: The 2024 proposal for Bentley includes more options: Please look at the map and tell us which ones you agree with.

Dogs should be on leads in Spring Meadow from 1 April to 31 July inclusive (the green shaded area marked no.1 on map) ANSWER DEFINITELY AGREE

Dogs should not enter or remain in the ponds or areas marked in red (red areas no. 2,3,4,5&8 on map) or Summer House Lake buffer (red hatched area no. 7 on map) ANSWER DEFINITELY AGREE

Dogs should be on leads in the area known as "Deer Path Corridor" (the blue hatched area no. 6 on map) ANSWER DEFINITELY AGREE

Question 11*: Are there any other areas where you think dogs should be required to be on a lead in Bentley Priory? ANSWER YES

Question 12*: Please tell us where you think these should be: ANSWER THE GREENSWARD AND FURZE HEATH

Question 13*: Do you have any other comments to make about the proposed dog controls for Bentley Priory ?

It would be useful to point out that Bentley Priory is Harrow's only biological Site of Special Scientific Interest and deserves a higher level of protection than other sites.

If you are a dog owner, you might note if you have witnessed interactions with other dogs that have scared or even injured your dog, so that as a dog walker you would welcome a rule that dogs should be on a leash at all times over the whole area.

If you agree, it might be useful to point out that a simple "dogs are required to be on a lead at all times throughout all areas of Bentley Priory." avoids potential problems of people saying (possibly quite honestly) that they did not know the areas where dogs had to be on leash, or the dates when this was required.

Thank you for helping to preserve Bentley Priory Nature Reserve as a haven for wildlife and nature lovers in this busy, populous borough.

* The question numbers change depending on how you answer previous questions, but for the majority of respondents the numbering will be as we indicate here.

Direct link to the consultation (opens in seperate page)

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