Consultation on Dogs in Plantation

Proposal to exclude dogs from the Plantation opposite the Primary School: 

South Darley Parish Council is proposing to exclude dogs (except assistance dogs) from the Plantation opposite South Darley Primary School. This forested area is used by the school as an educational resource, including as a Forest School with classes on a weekly basis.

The parish council manages the Plantation (which was gifted to it many years ago) and is very pleased to lend its full support to the Forest School. We are delighted to say that the parish council greatly appreciates the personalised and expansive education provided by the school and sees the use of the Plantation as one of several unique features.

The plantation also has a picnic bench and seating and we wish to encourage its recreational use by families and children as well as encourage wildlife for the children to observe. To this end, the council has recently installed various bird nesting boxes, bug hotels and a Jubilee bench for parents waiting for children at the end of the school day.

The rationale for excluding dogs from this area is essentially one of health as well as of safety. It relates both to the presence of dogs and to dog-fouling and the need for parents and teachers to clear the area of dog excrement each time they wish to use it for children – not a pleasant task to say the least but a very necessary one as the school children are encouraged to explore and value the natural environment.

The parish council intends to apply for a formal Dogs Exclusion Order at the next available opportunity and wishes to consult residents and the school community on an interim measure to install notices asking residents not to allow their dogs to access the Plantation.

If you have a view on this proposal, either way, please do contact the parish council, no later than 30th April 2023, via email to: southdarleyparishcouncil@hotmail.co.uk.