Just saying no isn t a solution. The problems with dog walking. Dogs in greenspaces: managing the demand Stephen Jenkinson Access Advisor

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1 The problems with dog walking Dogs in greenspaces: managing the demand Stephen Jenkinson Access Advisor Disturbed local wildlife Jumped up at me Raided our picnic The Kennel Club thekennelclub.org.uk Left poo on the path About the Kennel Club Traditional response to problems: say NO! Founded in 1873 best known for Crufts Dog show Not-for-profit, UK-wide body Protection & promotion of dogs varied roles in society 500k surplus annually donated to charitable trusts Supports other canine bodies: Animal Health Trust, rescue and rehoming centres etc How I ended up here Human health Land & access management Psychology of people & pets Specialist advisor: Dogs and people in the outdoors Just saying no isn t a solution

2 Top Tip #1 Health sells Dog activity trails Along a 1km+ long route Jumps, tunnels, weaves, log walks and more Moves off-lead away from sensitive areas 60% owners more active 36% dogs lost weight / healthier Increases human and dog interaction Images Lee Valley Regional Park Dog Slide walking: Motivation master human health benefits to exercise in all weathers Confidence in the outdoors Daily connection with the environment More social contact with others Enhanced physical and mental health Happier & healthier pets Top Tip #2 Know your audience 2016: Glasgow's dog owners more active, more often 11 Legacy Commonwealth Woods around Glasgow Great places but under-used Improve urban community health through dog walking KC partner with Forestry Commission & Paths for All Dog ownership and walking Spans socio-economic groups Households with dogs: 10% London & 22% SE England Most frequently parents Dogs taken on half of all walks Residents, day visitors and tourists Active people doing dog sports People only walking due to dog

3 What dog walkers seek Dogs off-lead Away from traffic Close to home Personal safety Peace and quiet Unlikely to meet dogs Mixing with other dogs Away from livestock Poo disposal facilities Circular route % single most important factor for dog walk The need for a planned approach Given restrictions, dog owners have 4 options: 1. Keep visiting if needs still met 2. Go somewhere else 3. Practically and/or politically challenge the restriction 4. Ignore the restriction, if low likelihood of fines A strategic approach is needed to minimise unplanned displacement and conflict intensification. Commercial Dog Walker profile Mean walk duration: 57 mins 97% use car or van Mean drive to walk: 19 mins 78% clients want off-lead exercise 58% would pay to walk away from other dog walkers Supply and demand City of Winchester study 2008: 34 sites surveyed by dog owners 54% said less greenspace than 10 years ago 12% didn t t know other sites Average 12 mins extra walking or driving to alternative sites Double impact new housing: less greenspace and more demand Top Tip #3 The reality of displacement Impacts of incremental restrictions Kent coastal access survey % Walk dog less often 17% less likely get another dog 44% Drive further to walk dog 49% Displacement to farmland 41% Displacement wildlife areas

4 Greenham Common: visitor survey % main visit reason: dog walking 81% visit at least weekly 95% accept need for some restriction 8.4% of site no dogs Top Tip #4 Reduce negatives and promote benefits Technology to support good choices KC s approach to access Supporting the benefits of dog walking and ownership Equally accepting and acting to minimise negative impacts Pragmatic approach reflecting diversity of KC interests Supporting evidence based, proportionate restrictions Restrictions on dogs are restrictions on people Making it easy to do the right thing Image Hampshire Wildlife Trust Being smarter with signage Building partnerships across the UK Jeskyns Wood FC Kent

5 Promoting this approach Jointly-funding research on influencing behaviour Sharing best practice Supporting good practice by councils and land managers Green infrastructure, planning and mitigation Identifying poor management and suggesting alternatives Legislative lobbying PSPOs v DCOs key differences Legal test: actual or likely detrimental effect on the quality of life and persistent & unreasonable Defra consultation needs: representatives of people affected and dog law and welfare experts 3 years convert DCOs to PSPOs FPN maximum now 100 New 46 acre woodland for dog walkers near 1,000 new homes Our experience so far: PSPOs often repeat DCO measures Generally unopposed provisions: picking up on-lead by direction bans on children s playgrounds Assistance dogs misunderstood Displacement rarely considered Justification evidence very variable Lack of an integrated approach Public Spaces Protection Orders Can apply to any public space Derived from Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 Almost infinite range of restrictions on any behaviour at a local level Community Protection Notices and other measures can target problem people Top Tip #5 Don t try to do it all yourself

6 Commercial Dog Walkers - CDW Help people have benefits of dog ownership even if: Out at work some / all days Have a permanent disability restricting their mobility Have a temporary impairment Circumstances changed from when they first got a dog They might otherwise re-home or euthanise their pet Image Scottish Natural Heritage Problems associated with CDW Generally unregulated industry Repeatedly using same areas several times each day Multiple dogs exiting vehicles Dogs walked from different homes Commercial pressures: travel time, numbers walked, daylight Can seem like easy money Image Scottish Natural Heritage Professional aspirations of CDW 78% now more likely to advise clients about access rights and responsibilities 89% feel accreditation good for business 96% wanted green dog walker schemes 76% wanted accreditation

7 Coming in 2016: Kennel Club Code of Practice Promoting professionalism Minimising problems Helping dog owners make better choices Helping land managers with credible, consistent standards Promotes professional dog walkers as ambassadors Land manager survey Jan 2016 Successfully managing the demand Ask why -address causes not symptoms Positive approaches to negative impacts Integrated, network approach Baseline and monitoring data Dialogue with Kennel Club and others at an early stage Making dog walkers part of the solution Image: Nigel Whitfield Questions and more information Stephen Jenkinson Access Advisor thekennelclub.org.uk

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