Following consultation with dog walkers and visitors to Tilgate Park, Crawley Borough Council has decided to ask dog walkers to keep their pets on leads around Tilgate Lake.
This follows several dog attacks on wildlife by the lake, one of which resulted in the death of a cygnet and injuring another. In recent years there have been other incidents including dogs chasing a deer and the deer dying of a heart attack.
The council and the Friends of Tilgate Park surveyed dog walkers and visitors to the park for their views on dog control and whether 'dogs on leads' around the lake should be introduced in a bid to protect wildlife.
Analysis of survey feedback showed that whilst two thirds of dog walkers were against dogs on leads, almost all non-dog walkers wanted dogs on leads. Some people responding to the survey were also concerned about dogs off leads being aggressive towards them as they run or walk around the lake.
Therefore, the council has decided to ask that dog walkers keep their dogs on leads around Tilgate Lake, and will install signage around the lake requesting visitors to have dogs on leads in this sensitive area.
Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation. The useful feedback has given us a good steer on how to protect the wildlife in and around Tilgate Park.
“We know that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible. However, our decision to request dogs around the lake to be on leads has been taken due to serious incidents caused by a small number of out-of-control dogs.”
Any park user who sees dogs attacking or chasing the wildlife or causing a nuisance should call 07730 703519.