The Volunteers have been out and about on the Estate along with staff members engaging with the visitors on the dos and don’ts at Ashridge – handing out information cards to bikers, horse riders and dog-walkers.
A sensation of panic sets in when the unexpected happens and a dog takes to deer-herding as in the video in Richmond Park in 2011. Will the dog come back?…. mind the traffic! Ironically the deer are descendants from a herd which was shipped to Richmond from Ashridge in 1925.
Deer- chasing happens regularly on the Ashridge estate and the volunteers and staff have been reminding the visitors of their responsibilities towards the public at large. A force of twelve staff and fifteen volunteers went walkabout on four Visitor Engagement sessions during November. It is the legal responsibility of owners to keep their dogs under control at all times and to do so they must know the temperament of their pet. If a dog is out of sight , it is deemed to be out of control and could cause distress to wildlife. Should a dog take off and give chase to deer or sheep road accidents are likely to occur – deer casualties run at one a week at Ashridge. Dog- walkers are arriving more and more as a quarter of all households now own a dog – it is fashionable with some eight million in the U K. The problem is being compounded by bans or restrictions placed on dogs in more than three thousand parks and open spaces over the last two years forcing their owners to take them into the countryside more frequently.
The Trust could introduce a dogs-on-lead policy throughout parts of the Estate which would need to be balanced and proportionate to ensure dog-walkers still felt welcome. The City of London have already issued Dog Control Orders on their Burnham Beeches site near Slough, restricting dog owners to some sixty percent of the Estate.
It is an offence to allow a dog to worry sheep – which includes both attacking and chasing them. SheepWatch UK said sheep attacks are devastating for farmers, who lose the value of the livestock killed and future earnings from those animals and their offspring, as well as having to pay for the carcasses to be removed. Sheep worrying is on the increase with an estimated fifteen thousand sheep killed across the UK in 2016.
As volunteers we should not let sleeping dogs lie!

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2 Responses to OMG!………..Fenton!

  1. Richard Harrington says:

    Isn’t it the wide awake ones we need to worry about 🙂


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