Dog ban in park will allow school to use field again
A Bedminster primary school could finally see dogs banned from its playing field, after a consultation was launched by the council last month.
South Street Park – owned by Gatehouse Green Learning Trust, which runs Compass Point Primary – is mainly used as a playing field by the school but is also used by the public, including dog walkers.
However, following concerns from the school about the persistent issue of dog mess impacting on its use of the field, the council is now considering making the park subject to a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).
This would mean that dogs – even those on leads – would be completely banned from the field.
There is a fenced-off area next to the park known as Bark Park, where dogs will still be allowed to exercise and be let off the lead.
A consultation ran by the school last year, which surveyed parents and local residents, saw 49 out of 55 respondents support prohibiting dogs from the field.
Historically, dogs have not been allowed to use the park. However, a story published in the March 2018 issue of the Voice revealed that the exclusion of dogs was not legally enforceable because it is one of the city’s green spaces exempt from a PSPO.
Compass Point headteacher, Mrs Linda Brown, told the Voice: “Since dogs have been able to use the field for the past two years, it has meant that the school has not been able to use the field as it wishes.
“If the weather is nice, we can’t just pop across and use it, but instead have to organise for the caretaker to do a full sweep and clean of the field before our children can begin.
“Even if dog owners are responsible and pick up after their dogs, small traces of dog mess can be left which poses a serious health and safety concern for our young children.
“It is really important that we provide an active curriculum for all our children and we are proud and privileged to be one of the few primary schools in the area with a school field.
“We would like to be able to use it to its full potential.”
The consultation (available at www.bristol.gov.uk/southstreetPSPO) launched on January 20 and is running for six weeks until March 1.
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