Thursday 09 November 2023
Dog owners are being reminded to keep their dogs under control and to pick up their waste after them, particularly as we shortly head into the darker winter months.
With the evenings getting darker sooner, it can be easy to lose track of dogs, therefore it is important to keep dogs close so that their waste can be picked up and to ensure they are under control near other users, particularly children or other vulnerable people.
Picking up dog waste is particularly important when near agricultural land, as dog faeces can carry diseases which may lead to lifelong sickness, animals aborting young and premature culling. Dog owners should remove any waste on cliff paths, beaches, pavements, walkways and other public land by bagging and binning it. Failing to do so risks the owner facing a £100 fine.
Although the summer dog ban has been lifted, dogs are not permitted on Lihou causeway or Lihou Island and islanders are strongly encouraged to honour the voluntary dog ban at the Richmond end of Vazon.
Julia Henney, Senior Natural Environment Officer, said:
"Richmond has historically been one of the most important sites for over wintering and wading birds on the island with large numbers from a variety of species congregating there. Unfortunately, these birds are particularly vulnerable to disturbance and we have seen steep declines in their populations. The main source of disturbance at Richmond is that caused by dogs chasing and putting birds to flight causing them to expend energy reserves which they need to get through the harder winter months. It's with this in mind that we ask that dog owners refrain from walking their dogs on the Richmond end of Vazon to try and alleviate some of the pressures on the birds and hopefully allow those populations to recuperate."
Wading bird species Turnstone and Dunlin have seen declines locally of over 90% since the 1980's. Giving birds space to feed will help to decrease pressures on the populations. Lihou and the surrounding area is a Ramsar site and has been designated a wetland of international importance, partly due to the important resource it offers winter waders on the yearly migration.