Plan to protect sheep at Upton Country Park

Published: Wednesday, 09 December 2020

Northampton Borough Council is set to consider proposed changes to a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) covering Upton Country Park.

A new section of the park was opened earlier this year and since then there have been several incidents of dogs off leads attacking sheep.

Clear signage is in place across the park stipulating that dogs should remain on leads at all times, and a change to the PSPO would mean breaches of this guidance are subject to a £100 fixed-penalty notice.

In order to make the changes, the Council’s Cabinet would need to approve the recommendation at its meeting on 16 December, then a public consultation would be required.

Cllr Mike Hallam, Cabinet Member for environment, said: “We’ve opened this extensive new section of the country park for the benefit of everyone.

“Parts of the park are fenced off to protect the sheep grazing that land, though we’ve allowed public access so walkers and cyclists can enjoy the wider landscape in that area.

“It is vital that dog walkers are responsible and keep their pets on a lead, and if we are able to make changes to the order in that area, this will be enforceable.”

Anyone in receipt of a fixed-penalty notice who then fails to pay it will face court action with a potential fine of £1,000.

“Letting dogs roam free in areas where sheep are grazing is unacceptable,” added Cllr Hallam, “and it would be better for everyone if pet owners took a responsible approach.”

If Cabinet gives approval, a further report would be brought back, outlining the public response received from the consultation.

Cabinet will discuss the proposal at its virtual meeting on Wednesday 16 December at 6pm. Full details on the proposals can be found online at http://www.northamptonboroughcouncil.com/councillors/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=528&MId=9143.

The cabinet meeting will be streamed directly to YouTube at 6pm on the same day at www.youtube.com/user/northamptonbcTV