Dunmow footpath branded ‘no-go area’ for anyone other than dog walkers

Great Dunmow Town Council offices.

Great Dunmow Town Council offices. - Credit: Archant

A footpath has been branded a “no-go area for anyone other than dog walkers” by a resident who wants the animals to be kept on a lead.

Rebecca King, who lives on Windmill Close, complained to Great Dunmow Town Council’s downs and commons committee about “out of control pets making it unsafe for elderly people and children” around Chelmer Valley and the recreation ground.

The mother-of-two told the Broadcast she avoids the area at this time of year, especially between Windmill Close and Mill Lane, through fear of dogs jumping up at her, making her clothes muddy.

She said: “The problem has been getting progressively worse over the last few years and I am not happy walking down there.

“I am not an anti-dog person but in that area it is not particularly safe for elderly people and children. It can be quite frightening for them.

“The dogs come up and jump, bash and knock people and you’re not dressed in muddy clothing. There is also a river around there and the dogs come out dripping of water.”

Mrs King added: “I appreciate dogs need their exercise but they have that opportunity beyond that area. If you could have an area where the dogs were on leads, children would be able to play and people could have picnics, for example.”

Most Read

The teacher asked town councillors on the downs and commons committee to consider implementing a ‘Dogs on Lead’ policy from the Braintree Road car park all the way to Mill Lane. She also called for one near the football pitch on the recreation ground, to stop dog fouling on the pitch.

However, members would only agree to keeping the pets on the lead along the Tarmac path from Windmill Close to Mill Lane, for a trial period.

Mrs King did not believe that would be enough. “It will not work,” she added. “If you’re going to do it you have to do it properly.

“If the dogs are already off the lead at the car park the owners are not going to get them back once they reach the Tarmac path.”