Woman defends dog walkers on Worcester meadows

Worcester News: WE NEVER HAVE ANY PROBLEMS: Toni Hand, who walks her two border collies Poppy and Toby on Ronkswood Meadows. Picture by John Anyon. 5113482001 WE NEVER HAVE ANY PROBLEMS: Toni Hand, who walks her two border collies Poppy and Toby on Ronkswood Meadows. Picture by John Anyon. 5113482001

A DOG lover from Worcester has entered the fray to fight off claims pets are allowed to run riot at a popular walking spot in the city.

On Tuesday, your Worcester News reported how Gulf War veteran Chris Davies was afraid to walk his dogs in Ronkswood Meadows as a result of other owners not keeping their pets under control.

But Toni Hand, who lives in Avon Road which borders the meadows and frequently walks her two border collies Poppy and Toby on the field, said the spot was one of the most pleasant places in the city.

“I’ve lived here for 25 years and I walk my dogs there day in and day out,” said Mrs Hand, who lives with husband John.

“Ninety-nine per cent of owners are responsible. Dogs might run up to you but that’s just because they want to play.

“We never have any problems. “There are sometimes a few dogs which are not under control but they’re puppies – what do you expect?”

The 51-year-old said she was concerned Mr Davies’ comments would discourage people from visiting the meadows.

“I don’t think he’s getting the whole picture,” she said. “It’s a fantastic place. Everybody knows everybody and he’s making it look like it’s awful.

“There are benches at the top of the bank where you can see for miles around and in the summer it’s absolutely full of school children.

“If people keep making a fuss, no one will go there and the council will concrete over it for housing and it’ll be lost.”

However, she did complain about a lack of a bin to dispose of dog mess at the site and suggested Worcester City Council, which is responsible for parks throughout the city, should put one in to clean up the area and make it more appealing to visitors.

“There is a lot of dog mess there,” she said.

“Dog owners really should clean up after themselves. “You can buy 500 nappy bags for £1 at the pound shop.

“It’s very easy to stand in it and children could slip and fall over.” A spokeswoman from Worcester City Council said there were currently no plans to set up a bin at the meadow.

“We set aside £1,500 last year to install and empty dog bins in Worcester but that’s a finite amount of money,” she said.

“The onus is on the owners to clean up after their pets and if there are no dog bins in site they should take it home and dispose of it.”


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