Dog Wars 2: the battle for Rodden Meadow

Image

who could have done that? It wasn’t my dog…..

Following Sunday’s dog blog, as if on cue, this story pops up, albeit in the Mail.

A retired haulier and beef farmer bought a 29 acre meadow in the middle of Frome, Somerset, which had evidently been an unofficial public open space for many years, used by the local dog walking community amongst others. A community group had attempted to have it declared a Site of Community Value, but failed. The field has a public footpath running through it.

After purchasing the field for £230,000, the farmer has erected a metal security fence on either side of the footpath; he was quoted as saying:

“they allow their dogs to mess everywhere and me and my staff have to work in it. ‘I thought, “They don’t look after it, so I will.” I went to the footpath people and asked if I could put a fence up and they said it was my right, so I did.” In an interview with Western Daily Press he also said “the dog mess creates germs which get into the cattle and abort the calves.”

“The dog mess creates germs which get into cattle and abort the calves, I don’t want that happening. I need to get the land clean for six months before I can graze cattle so it needs to happen sooner rather than later.”
Read more at http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Heavy-metal-strikes-discordant-note/story-21081979-detail/story.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#Wk9VhO8FCrBPcBvG.99
“The dog mess creates germs which get into cattle and abort the calves, I don’t want that happening. I need to get the land clean for six months before I can graze cattle so it needs to happen sooner rather than later.”
Read more at http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Heavy-metal-strikes-discordant-note/story-21081979-detail/story.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#Wk9VhO8FCrBPcBvG.99
“The dog mess creates germs which get into cattle and abort the calves, I don’t want that happening. I need to get the land clean for six months before I can graze cattle so it needs to happen sooner rather than later.”
Read more at http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Heavy-metal-strikes-discordant-note/story-21081979-detail/story.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#Wk9VhO8FCrBPcBvG.99The fence is very ugly, and it splits the field in two, which will also make it more difficult to graze. I don’t know whether the meadow is a wildlife-rich one, the photos were ambiguous. Either way, the owner has a point. Who would allow dogs to poo in their garden? Unless it was your dog, and even then I suspect plenty of dog owners deliberately take their dogs for a walk so they don’t poo in their own garden.

The vox pops in the Mail are from local community members –  all up in arms at this ugly fence spoiling the view and restricting their access. None of them own up to allowing their dogs to poo in this local beauty spot of course. But as 25% of households own a dog and evidently many don’t pick up (and then there’s the wee of course) some of them will be culprits.

One old lady who lives next to the field was quoted in the Mail as being delighted with the fence.

“Jean Dredge, 80, whose garden abuts the entrance to the path, said Mr Brunt was a ‘saviour’ who had restored peace to the area.

She said: ‘It’s been lovely to walk out of my door these past few weeks and not be confronted by piles of dog mess.

‘Neither are we woken up at 6am by people slamming their car  doors and shouting good morning to each other.’”

photo (c) Miles King
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About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and I don't write on behalf of anybody else.
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