Coopers MeadowOwners asked to keep their dog on a lead at all times in Coopers Meadow
We're not at all happy to be writing this post. There are clear signs in the Meadow asking people to keep dogs on leads, and today we’re reminding people that dogs should be kept on a lead in Coopers Meadow until further notice.
On Saturday, 6 August, there was, for the second time this year, an attack on an animal in Cooper’s Meadow by a dog where the owner had let it off the lead.
This time it was a ewe, and the dog attack caused a ripped udder as well as damage to the tail and back leg. The ewe has received veterinary care and she will continue to be monitored and receive more antibiotics. She is feeding, which is a positive sign.
Earlier this year a juvenile swan died from its injuries following a dog attack. Only days before this happened the cygnet had left the protection of the swan family group for the first time.
We're pretty certain that in both cases the owners of these dogs were shocked that their dog behaved this way. The point is ANY DOG MIGHT DO THIS even if you don't think yours would.
If you walk your dog in Cooper's Meadow, please keep it on a lead at all times. Signs in Coopers Meadow will reinforce this message. If your family, friends or neighbours own dogs and are unlikely to see our website or social media posts, please make them aware.
We're lucky to have such a special place, easily accessible, in the centre of town where people of all ages and abilities can watch livestock and wildlife up close. Please help us to keep it that way.
Did you know that while the path between George Lane and Town Mill is a public footpath, the path that provides entry into Coopers Meadow is not? There are signs showing that it is a permissive path.
You’ll sometimes see routes marked with signs indicating that you’re using one of these, and it can feel confusing. Check those signs, if you see them, as they might include information that’s specific to that path in particular.
That’s because these are pathways that you’re allowed to use because the person who privately owns that land has made the route available to the public. The signs will indicate if there are restrictions, so do check before making any assumptions.
'These are pathways that you’re allowed to use because the person who privately owns that land has made the route available to the public.'
They can also sometimes temporarily withdraw it – for example for moving livestock – or limit access to certain times of the day. So as ever, check signs closely and of course, as with all pathways, follow the Countryside Code to the letter.
From bridleways to public footpaths to restricted byways: what’s the difference? CPRE has a helpful guide: https://www.cpre.org.uk/discover/permissive-to-public-know-your-pathways/
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/69