Hatch Quarry Play Area to close after dark
25 January 2017
HATCH Quarry play area will now be closed outside of daylight hours as the Vale of Glamorgan Council battles to cope with persistent vandalism.
The park underwent a revamp in March, with new play equipment for children to enjoy unveiled.
A key feature of the scheme was that the park would be dog-free so that children would be safe to enjoy the grassed part of the park.
Being fenced-off, it should allow children to play away from traffic and without the worry of dog mess, 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.
But for well over a year, an unscrupulous person or persons have been defacing the park’s dog-free sign with white paint, costing the Council considerable expense to replace it.
The exclusion of dogs was felt to be the most effective way of providing a play area where parents could be confident their children can play safely.
But the message has been sprayed over, leaving local residents unable to challenge dog owners in the park who are unaware that the area is not for their pets.
Sadly, this vandalism has continued, leaving the Council no option but to close the park after dark when the offences have previously taken place.
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.
“Unfortunately, the regular damage done to a sign indicating dogs are not permitted there means we have no option but to close the park after dark. It is sad that this step needs to be taken, but whoever has been committing these acts of vandalism seemingly refuses to stop so this is the only way to protect the sign from further damage.
“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.“
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.