Ashfield District Council has passed a motion which would see dog walking banned on football pitches across Ashfield.
The motion, put forward by Councillor Lee Anderson, was narrowly passed at a full council meeting this week and means the council will now explore options for a public spaces protection order (PSPO) at playing fields across the district.
Dog walkers to be banned from all Ashfield football pitches.
This would mean that dog walkers cannot take their pets onto any sports pitch where football teams train or play in order to limit the amount of dog foul found on the grass.
Dog walkers would still be able to use the open parks and spaces under the plans, however ‘dog only’ and ‘no dog’ areas would be enforced to ensure no dog foul appears on the playing fields.
The plans would affect any open space with a regularly-used football pitch. This includes Titchfield Park in Hucknall, Titchfield Park in Kirkby, Kingsway Park in Kirkby, Brierley Forest Park in Huthwaite, Bluebell Wood Way Park in Sutton, Healdswood Recreation Ground in Skegby, Cow Pasture Lane Park in Sutton and Teversal Old Village Recreation Ground.
Councillor Anderson proposed the motion to protect the field conditions and believes it is “unfair to football teams” having to manoeuvre around the mess of “a number of irresponsible dog owners”.
He said: “Dogs and dog walkers are banned from golf courses, bowls greens and tennis courts so why should they not also be banned from football pitches too?
“I am not suggesting that dog walkers should be banned completely from open parks and spaces, but I do believe we should have dog-only areas which are not near the football pitch at all.
“If players or children were to fall on the pitch and get dog litter on their hands there is potential for blinding, and this is not something I would want on my conscience.”
No date has been set for when this could come into place because it must now go to the council’s cabinet committee, which will put forward plans for a PSPO.
PSPOs are enforced by local authorities to restrict behaviour that has a “detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality”.
Ashfield District Council has already enforced a dog-related PSPO, banning the animal from any enclosed play area or park for the protection of children.