Dog ban due to actions of few

We have lived in Clitheroe for almost 25 years, and will soon be retiring and moving away to East Yorkshire.

It’s been a wonderful place to live and I have many happy memories. I’m often asked, what will I miss most about Clitheroe? The answer is easy – I will miss my walks on Roefield with my dog.

Roefield is a beautiful field, and is almost always well kept by the council. It’s been a safe place to give my dog a run off the lead, sometimes chasing a ball or enjoying the scent of the rabbits. I’ve been there at all times of the day, and it never fails to please, whatever the weather. I know where the first primroses bloom, I’ve listened to the birdsong on a summer’s evening, and I’ve even seen deer there.

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Very often it’s a place of solitude, because the crowds are down by the river. Being enable to engage with the natural world so close to home has been such a bonus, and for this I am truly grateful.

In all these years there has been one problem; that of litter left by football spectators. After a Saturday morning match there is always a circle of bottles and other litter, which I assume has been dropped by the parents of the children playing. On occasions I have picked up and disposed of some of these bottles myself, and only this morning another dog walker told me she recently collected 22 bottles from the field.

This morning I was deeply upset to find dogs are no longer allowed on the field, solely because of the few irresponsible people who fail to clear up after their dogs. The majority of dog owners do clear up. If that were not the case, why are the dog bins always so full?

It’s a sad day when a few hardened offenders mean the responsible majority are no longer able to enjoy this facility. When the path between St Paul’s Church and the Hall was open, we often found these offenders were people who walked their dogs either late at night or very early in the morning, when they thought there was no-one around to see them. So the new rules will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem.

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But the problem of litter after a football match could easily be solved. Just send an officer down there when there’s a match on. He can enjoy the match, and catch the culprits at the same time!

So for us it will soon be goodbye to Clitheroe. It looks like we’re going at the right time, because although I know I myself am not banned from going on the field, a walk without a dog just isn’t the same. In fact, a walk with a dog is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Kathleen Nicholson,

St Paul’s Vicarage, Clitheroe