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Freedom of Information Request

Rules/laws for dogs being off lead in Open Spaces

Received: 7 April 2021

I would like to know the rules/laws for dogs being off lead in Bittacy Hill Park, Barnet Copthall Playing Fields, Dollis Valley Greenwalk and the surrounding green paths. I would also like to know the rules/laws for how many dogs one dog owner can walk and how many of those dogs have to be on leads. I would also like to know what measures Barnet Council takes to enforce those rules/laws.

I have been going running in the above areas for the past five years, but recently I have become afraid to do so. Dog owners don't always have their dogs on leads or under control and in a usual 5km run I usually encounter at least 12 dogs, half of whom are off lead. The owners cannot always control the dogs and I have been growled at, barked at, jumped up on and chased by the dogs (two weeks ago I was chased for 200m by a dog and I couldn't see any other option but to get away). These incidents are always very distressing, I am always really worried that I will be bitten or attacked and I can no longer enjoy my usual runs. I always slow down around dogs and try to walk slowly so they don't bark at/jump at/chase me but this doesn't make much difference. I am also worried because there have been times I saw young children playing in the green areas and large, dangerous-looking dogs growling and barking at them while the owners/dog-walkers sat by and didn't do anything. I have also seen dogs jump at and injure pensioners out on a walk whilst completely disregarding their owners' commands. I don't have anything against dogs and I normally view them as friendly and sociable animals, but with so many dogs being off lead and out of control I am really afraid for my safety and for the safety of other people. This is a concern shared by many people I know.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know where to report this problem and whether Barnet Council can take any action to remedy it.

Outcome / Documents

  • LBB Byelaws 1978 - Relating to Pleasure Grounds - application/pdf - Download
  • LBB Byelaws 1992 - Regulation of dogs - application/pdf - Download
  • LBB Byelaws 1993 - Dogs on leads and exercise areas in PaOS - application/pdf - Download
  • Response (all information to be supplied) - application/pdf - Download