New measures to protect sheep introduced at Upton Country Park  

Published: Monday, 29 March 2021

A variation to the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) that will prohibit dogs from being off leads in the new section of the Upton Country Park has been introduced last week.

The introduction of the PSPO variation will require dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead when visiting the Phase 2 Area of Upton Country Park to protect the sheep grazing in the park.  This is following several serious incidents of dogs off leads attacking sheep since the new section of the park was opened last year.

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.

The results of a consultation in December 2020 showed that 76% (185 people) of respondents were in favour of prohibiting dogs off lead in the Phase 2 area of Upton Country Park.

A Northampton Borough Council spokesperson said: “Dog walkers currently must keep their pets on a lead at all times in all children's play areas in public parks, in all cemeteries, in Northampton town centre and from last week in the “Phase 2” area of Upton Country Park.

“Changes to this PSPO will be enforceable and are looking to protect the sheep in the park, we hope this will deter future anti-social behaviour in the area.”

PSPOs provide councils with flexible powers to address a range of anti-social behaviour issues in public places to help prevent future issues. Restrictions can be placed on an area where activities have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of local people.

Enforcement of the Order would be carried out by the Council and Northamptonshire Police. Any breach of the Order would be a criminal offence with a possible fine of up to £1000 or prosecution.

Residents can consult this map to view the area that will be covered by this PSPO.