Dogs in Grand Western Canal Basin picnic area must now be kept on leads

Posted on: 23 May 2018

All dog owners using the Canal Basin Picnic Area in Tiverton are now required to keep their pets on leads at all times.

The new rules have been introduced by Devon County Council to ensure that everyone can enjoy this popular beauty spot, and follows a series of recent incidents including dog attacks, dog fouling and pets taking picnic items and fishing bait.

The move has been supported by local Police Community Support Officers, who have been dealing with dog attacks in the area – and the Tiverton Canal Co. – which operates the horse-drawn barge, floating café-bar, boat hire and gift shop in the Canal Basin.

Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for

Cllr Roger Croad

Environmental Services said: “We welcome well-behaved dogs at the Canal and recognise that a large proportion of visitors are responsible local dog walkers.

“But there are a minority of dog owners who are not considerate and our priority must be to ensure the safety of all users. These rules ensure that free-running dogs do not spoil the experience for other users. The Canal Byelaws provide the Canal Ranger Service with the ability to require dogs to be kept on leads by direction and so we are making use of this power to address the problems that have been experienced recently in the Canal Basin.

Cllr Colin Slade, Devon County Council local member for Tiverton East said:

Councillor Colin Slade

“The Canal is one of the jewels in Tiverton’s crown and the Canal Basin is a really popular spot for both local people and tourists of all ages. I’m concerned to hear about the recent problems with uncontrolled dogs and owners and believe that this is a sensible move by the Canal Ranger Service.”

Cllr Ray Radford Chairman of the Canal’s Joint Advisory Committee said: “It

Cllr Ray Radford

was my pleasure to open the new Canal Basin Play Park recently and I’m told that there are now more children here than ever before. I know that some youngsters can be quite intimidated by dogs running up to them, even if they mean no harm, so I think this new rule about dogs on leads in the Canal Basin is a good idea.”

PCSO Dion Howell said: “We have been dealing with some dog attack incidents here in the Canal Basin picnic area and given the busy nature of the site we agree that dogs should be kept on leads at this location.”

3 comments on “Dogs in Grand Western Canal Basin picnic area must now be kept on leads

  1. Ruth Hunt says:

    I ,of course, understand the reasons why this has been decided, but am personally very disappointed. I use the canal almost daily to exercise my dog, often a long walk along the towpath followed by a chance for my children to blow of steam in the new play area while I play with my dog (up until now, off the lead) at the basin.
    I shall abide my the new rules, albeit begrudgingly, but please can you clarify at which point along the path towards the basin must the dogs be restrained?

    • david.beasley says:

      Dear Ruth, the restrictions are on just the first 200m at the Tiverton end of the route. Dogs can be let off the lead (but under control) for the remaining 11 1/4 miles.

  2. Colin says:

    The Highway Code (Rule 56) is very clear about dog owners responsibilities on ALL shared paths – “Keep it on a short lead when walking on the pavement, road or path shared with cyclists or horse riders.”

    Some owners do not realise that dogs off their lead and running around can startle and scare others, especially young children. Not everyone loves dogs and it’s hard to tell if “he is just being friendly” or sees you as an afternoon snack.

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