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One Tree Hill
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prc


Posts: 21
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #21
16-07-2008 08:55 AM

Why have a go at these commercial dog walkers. Those that I have bumped into have always been very pleasant and very accommodating, making sure that there dogs are not getting in my way and I even had a nice chat with a couple of them too.

Sometimes I think that there is too much anger on this site.....complaining for the sake of complaining.

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jon14


Posts: 145
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #22
16-07-2008 09:59 AM

prc Wrote:
Sometimes I think that there is too much anger on this site.....complaining for the sake of complaining.


Is that a complaint, or are you just expressing an opinion?

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prc


Posts: 21
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #23
16-07-2008 10:02 AM

its an observation.....

why persecute the dog walkers? If one of them is being a nuisance, report them, they are probably in the minority and to say that all dog walkers are a nuisance is to tarnish them all with the same brush.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #24
16-07-2008 10:07 AM

PRC . Are you a representitive of the PRC .
By the time one reports a dog walker they would have walked on, that is the nature of the beast.
Slightly changing the subject , not having a pet , I never cease to be amazed at how much space our Supermarkets give to pet products and how much people spend. Maybe with the credit crunch people will get rid of some.
Dogs especially should not be in towns . Make too much noise and mess and can be violent as in case of trophy doggies

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sandy


Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #25
16-07-2008 10:39 AM

Unfortunately there have been many concerns about commercial dog walkers. They are not always under control and cause fear for other users of One Tree hill, even some other dog owners. They do not not consistently clear up after their dogs. This is not possible when several are let loose to roam across the site. One walker at least closes off an entrance presumably to stop dogs running out (does this not suggest a lack of control and this is a public park). There is also the damage done to the site itself which is a designated Local Nature Reserve. This is a small green and peaceful area which is to be enjoyed by everyone but there is an imbalance in use at the times when the groups of dogs are there and this has put visitors off coming to enjoy the spot. There is no general objection from most people to dogs being walked there, but for the reasons stated above, commercial dog walking with 6 or 8 dogs, and sometimes with more than one group at a time, militates against the pleasure others gain from walking there.

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AngelGabriel


Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #26
29-07-2008 09:03 PM

Hi Sandy, Im new to computers so I do apologise in advance if I don't use smilies, really don't know what they are for.

I've been going to One Tree Hill for over 8 years, it is a lovely piece of common land and can I stress common land. It is open for all users,joggers,families believe it or not some with dogs!, dog walkers and nature enthusiasts which I am one.

I go up on a regular basis and I meet with Geof who is from Complete Pet Care and he drives a branded van. Incidentally I like that fact, it indicates to me he is accountable. Unless my sense of maths is totally out but I never see him with more than four dogs, fact he's been up at One Tree Hill with two or on occasion three dogs, perfectly under control.

I do feel strongly that you've made an attack on this gentlemen who has always been very polite and frankly made me feel secure that he's there. I've been reading the comments from other users and it seems sweeping generalisations are being made.

As far as I remember the mud paths have always been there, on my own sightings I see vans pulling up, and the dogs let out of cages, surely that indicates,dogs welfare are being considered? they are exercised in a controlled manner and certainly not the numbers people are citing. Your response to one user who was alarmed by a dog and I quote 'ugly' owner seems to me a personal attack on the owner and your response said a group dog walker would have been responsible. I do feel that your comments have a feel of a vendetta?

A fact, there are responsible and non responsible dog owners. There seems to be a culture of lets ban everything, can I use an example, to drive a car, you need a license,insurance and pass a test. There are responsible drivers and non responsible drivers. When a non responsible driver commits an offence he is banned not ALL DRIVERS.

It seems to me an under resourced Council would prefer a quick fix and ban all dog walkers which is unfair. Responsible dog owners would welcome a dog license, income generated would enable more resources to ban irresponsible dog owners.

We live in a multicultural society and we share common land, I think its morally wrong that if you don't like something or understand it, then its wrong. We need to share. Have you taken the time to talk to these dog walkers? the council know where the problem estates are, the problem spots, and they don't deploy community wardens to target those areas or identify irresponsible dog owners. Community wardens are not a permanent presence, if current irresponsible dog owners act irresponsibly, logic dictates they will not abide by any Dog Control Order and you will be penalising people who do abide by the rules. You will still have the same problem, whose going to police it?

Rather than communities fighting against each other would it not make more sense to ask the council to bring back dog licenses, and set a fixed amount of dogs, commercial dog walkers can exercise? Bring back the dog license, make the commercial dog walkers accountable as Wandsworth Council do? Insist on a more regular presence in parks, bring back the park wardens? Why not ask for community wardens to target One Tree Hill this summer and do a report on numbers and responsibility shown or not by dog walkers? The findings useful for the October meeting?

I will happily join any campaign to save the environment but not one that I feel is biaised unreasoned and not researched.

It seems to me everyones stress is caused by a lack of constructive,fair action by the council. They need to target the irresponsible dog owners and not group all dog owners together.

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sandy


Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #27
29-07-2008 09:35 PM

The Friends of One Tree Hill group, which works with Southwark to maintain One Tree Hill and put one events on the hill regularly receives comments from people about dogs. While there are clearly some who would wish to see dogs banned altogether that is not our aim, because this is where local dog owners can enjoy the space as much as anyone else, but we do feel the large number of dogs that are walked in groups (6-8 in some cases, which we ourselves have observed, and more than one commercial walker at a time) is not appropriate in this relatively small area. I wish also to reiterate that this is one of the few designated Local Nature Reserves in Southwark and, as such, requires special care in balancing facilities for public use and also enjoyment of the natural surroundings. One area that has been badly affected, for example, by the large number of dogs at time running loose is the grassed area bordering the path down to Honor Oak Rise, where grass has been destroyed over a period of time.

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sandy


Posts: 190
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #28
29-07-2008 09:48 PM

I should also have added that a Dog Control Order does not necessarily entail banning all dogs but can do exactly what you suggest and limit the number of dogs one person can walk at a time. In any case there would have to be public consultation before any such action can be taken.

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AngelGabriel


Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2008
Post: #29
29-07-2008 10:56 PM

I do welcome the consultation,do you have a date in October? However Im a bit surprised by the damage to the grass, Im sorry maybe Im myopic but the central area I meditate in, I see no damage there? No change in the last eight years. I do find disturbing the burnt out household items, mopeds, broken bottles and remains of barbecues and picnics?

As for commercial dog walkers, I do see them, they are all pleasent and responsible, certainly kept the drug dealers away! and the fighting dogs which used to happen. A limit should be set, maximum of four dogs per dog walker?

I just wish to see a balanced discussion maybe with the dog walkers and commercial ones?

To play devils advocate, why not utilise commercial dog walkers rather than vilify them. Ask the council to instigate a license for them, they need to wear a bib or whatever with their license number on it, so there is countability for not picking up pooh. They need to report back to community wardens, because it seems to me they are there, more than anyone,highlighting any vandalism etc .They also have to pick up dog mess when requested by members of the public. Then you have control over them and a group that works with rather than against One Tree Hill, a thought?

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spud


Posts: 65
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #30
30-07-2008 11:28 AM

I agree that it's not unusual to see commercial dog walkers with groups of six to eight dogs on One Tree Hill, of all shapes and sizes, sometimes running free and off the leash. I have been up on One Tree Hill when more than one walker with a group of dogs this size has been present. That's a lot of dogs!

If I've gone to the Hill for a bit of peace and quality quiet time the collective frenzied barking and yelping of a group that size effectively scuppers that plan. If I've gone up there for a run, then I sometimes find myself with an excitable pack of hounds barking around my heels. As a healthy bloke in middle age, I just find that a bit exasperating. For anyone more frail, and for mums with young kids, I can imagine that sort of thing being a bit intimidating.

When it comes right down to it, I suppose that I do find it a bit distasteful to see a free pleasant public space hijacked as a resource for a commercial enterprise, often without much consideration for the other users of this valuable oasis of peace and quiet.

Whereas I've no problem at all with responsible dog-owners walking their own pets. Obviously.

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kipya


Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #31
01-08-2008 12:26 PM

The commercial dog walkers are on One Tree Hill every weekday and whilst I think there is no malice aforethought, it is pretty inconsiderate to other people using the leisure space. It is ironic to think that the 100 years centenary of One Tree Hill being dedicated as a public space, having seen off the threat of a local golf club, is now being effectively taken over by commercial dog walkers. I have seen three at a time deliveries of dogs in white vans and a taxi.
The meadow area has been churned up quite badly by the 'packs' of dogs and no longer provides a pleasant place for people, or anything else very much.
One Tree Hill is a designated Local Nature Reserve, a rare enough site in London. I think it is not unreasonable to maintain a bit of rus in urbe round here. The mass dog walking is more a function of the urbs than the rus.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #32
01-08-2008 12:37 PM

On my one visit to OTH I was pinned up against a tree (One of the one trees?) by one dog, then just as I escaped, chased down the hill by another.

And they weren't boundy-happy dogs, they were snarling nasty ones who looked like they wanted to bite my face off.

If I'd been a kid, I'd have been absolutely ****** terrified.

It's not moaning for the sake of moaning. Around 16 dogs off the leash with no control from the two 'walkers' ruins the enjoyment of the place for everyone.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #33
01-08-2008 01:04 PM

Yes Never Modern , I to a few years was cornered by an agressive looking dog with a trophy owner in tow.
I do appreciate the comments of pro dog walkers that we are all entitled to use the space but that actually means that only dog walkers or dog lovers can use the space in safety.
No idea what can be done except perhaps a tax on eack packet of Winalot. Not sure of the ethics of feeding pets when we have food shortages in the world.
Thankfully Horniman Gardens do not seem to have a major canine problem.

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kipya


Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #34
01-08-2008 11:37 PM

I've just found this photo of the "meadow" which has been churned up by the packs of dogs let lose on the hill.

The issue is about balance and the purpose of the hill - a community facility and Local Nature Reserve. It is a relatively delicate area that is not going to withstand commercial use - either as a leisure site nor as a nature reserve.

There is no workforce to "maintain" the site other than a community of local people who want to keep the facility, the couple of acres of woodland, on the hill. Events are run throughout the year which look at the birds, moths, trees, bats, fungi etc which inhabit the woods, as well as a number of events about the local history - eg at the top of the hill is a World War One anti-zeppelin gun emplacement, not to mention the great disturbance of 1905.

The substantial number of reports of people, and their own dogs, being threatened by packs of commercially walked dogs are also very disturbing, and clearly discourage people from walking in the woods, which is a bit unfair really.

So for people and for wildlife the woods need a bit of care and consideration. Neither will survive the colonization of the hill for commercial dog walking

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kipya


Posts: 62
Joined: Feb 2008
Post: #35
01-08-2008 11:41 PM

here's the picture...

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boosboss


Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #36
07-08-2008 11:47 AM

I'd fully support a limit to the numbers of dogs walked by commercial dog walkers and licencing of said walkers by the council and as AngelGabriel said, identifying bibs/tabards so as to place accountability when and where due.
I often speak to commercial dog walkers in various park across the borough and most if not all of them have the same view.
Fortunately I've never witnessed a frenzied attack by a pack of marauding hounds on either another dog or a person and frankly suspect elements of hysteria and exageration. I have however witnessed the dogwalkers picking up dog mess left by dog owners as a norm, in part to limit accusations levelled at themselves and also to maintain a relatively pleasant area in which to carry out their duties.
I also have no faith in the local council carrying out an unbiased consultation and effectively implementing any valid controls as a result. I suspect the commencement of the consultation being delayed from July till October will also prove in their interest as the other concerns people have with parks and open spaces such as arson, vandalism and other antisocial behaviour issues will have somewhat abated with the start of the new school term.
Dog walkers provide security in parks by virtue of being there. Many people would avoid areas such as One Tree Hill because of it's isolation if the dog walkers weren't there.
Push for effective and rational controls that will be enforcable rather than illconceived reactionary ones.

Brian, I don't understand your ethical logic on world food shortages having any more bearing on feeding pets than you spending your hard earned on anything other than essentials. Could it be that the monthly payment you make to your internet provider would be much better placed helping to reduce the aforementioned shortages?

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #37
07-08-2008 11:55 AM

Clearly because you haven't witnessed someone being pinned up against a tree and chased down the hill, it must be a hysterical and exaggerated account. Well suspected, Sherlock.

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boosboss


Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #38
07-08-2008 12:00 PM

I obviously hit a nerve there, but

Quote:
who looked like they wanted to bite my face off.

I think even Dr Watson would deduce the same Rolleyes

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #39
07-08-2008 12:19 PM

You didn't hit a nerve, mate. A snarling dog, bearing its teeth, not allowing me to move: a description of it 'looking like it wanted to bite my face off' is perfectly reasonable, especially seeing as my comment was in response to someone questioning the obvious widespread concerns about organised dog walking on OTH. I have no position on the dog walkers. I just don't like being almost attacked. And if you don't believe me, take a running jumpRolleyes

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boosboss


Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2008
Post: #40
07-08-2008 12:33 PM

Ah yes, case in point 'widespread concerns' a thread with less than forty replies and not all of them expressing concern Smile

As for a running jump. Where do you suggest - World War One anti-zeppelin gun emplacement perhaps? Crying

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