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Dog owners asked for views on designs to keep wildlife safe

Dog owners asked for views on designs to keep wildlife safe

Dog owners are being asked to give their views on dog-friendly splash pools and sheltered areas (like the one pictured) where they can socialise and relax with other dog owners and reduce the impact of their pets on local wildlife. The idea is to protect the flora and fauna in the Hogsmill River from being

Dog owners are being asked to give their views on dog-friendly splash pools and sheltered areas (like the one pictured) where they can socialise and relax with other dog owners and reduce the impact of their pets on local wildlife.

The idea is to protect the flora and fauna in the Hogsmill River from being disturbed by dogs or killed by pets’ flea treatments like fipronil, a pesticide which wipes out insects and is likely to have a devastating impact on freshwater invertebrates.

Surbiton rewilding group Citizen Zoo, which plans to reintroduce water voles to the Hogsmill, wants to promote responsible dog walking beside the river.

“This is to prevent any vegetation disturbance, which can seriously hamper water vole reintroductions, as they require areas of vegetation for feeding and protection from predators,” said urban rewilding officer Ben Stockwell. “Furthermore, dogs can be stressors on wildlife in general and we want to limit this on our newly-released population of water voles.”

The group is asking dog owners and walkers to give their feedback on five designs by Kingston University Architecture students. You can see them here at www.tinyurl.com/Dog-areas

You can take part in the online Dog Walker Engagement Meeting on Wednesday (March 31) at 7pm. Email Ben at ben@citizenzoo.org for details or to give your views on the designs.

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