Hatch Quarry dog-free zone sign vandalised again
22 August 2016
Hatch Quarry, in the heart of Cadoxton Conservation Area, is an impressive new play area, where the play equipment was unveiled for children to enjoy in March of this year.
A key feature of the refurbished scheme was that the park would be a dog-free zone. One of the main reasons for making it dog-free, was so that the grassed part of the park would be safe for children to enjoy alongside the play equipment. Being fenced-off, it allows children to play away from traffic and should be expected to be free from dog fouling, which is not only unpleasant if children fall into it, but also represents a health hazard.
Dog faeces can lead to toxocariasis in humans, which can cause serious illness and even blindness. Toxocariasis usually affects children aged between one and four years. Young children are most at risk, as they are more likely to put things into their mouths, and less likely to wash their hands properly.
The second reason is because the area has suffered with an unscrupulous person or persons defacing the ‘Dog Free’ signage for well over a year, costing the Council considerable expense to replace them.
Although the majority of dog owners behave responsibly, the exclusion of dogs was felt to be the most effective way of providing a play area where parents could be confident that children can play safely.
Having invested in new equipment and refurbishing the park, the Council had installed new signs notifying the public that dogs are not allowed in the park. However, within a day of installing the signs they were again vandalised.
The signage has now been spray painted over, leaving local residents unable to challenge dog owners in the park, who remain unaware that the park area is not for the use of dogs.
Local Councillor Anne Moore said: “As local councillors, we have been working with residents and Council Officers to enhance this children’s facility and try to ensure that dog walkers do not use the park. It is a safe haven for children to play and they should not have worry about this disgusting mess, left when dogs are allowed to defecate. We have repeatedly placed signs in the park for well over a year and each time we do they are either removed or defaced. This is unacceptable, not only because the risk caused to the children, but also because this is costing the council tax payer a great deal of money at a time when resources are stretched to the limit.”
Cllr Gwyn John, Cabinet Member for Visible, Leisure and Regulatory Services, said: “We took the decision to establish the Hatch Quarry play area as dog-free, because we wanted to give people an area to enjoy freely, without the worry of encountering dogs and their litter.
“We do appreciate the needs of open spaces for dog walkers and we are fortunate in the Vale of Glamorgan, to have these in abundance. The Green Flag awarded Victoria Park is very close to Hatch Quarry, as well as a number of other areas of grassland where dog owners can take their dogs. All we would ask is that they behave responsibility and pick up after their dogs.”
Instances of dog fouling in general, or dogs being allowed in the Hatch Quarry play area, can be reported by contacting the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s C1V contact centre on 01446 700111, by emailing email@example.com, or visiting www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk.
Anybody with information regarding the vandalism of the signage can contact the Council through the same channels.