Dogs and their owners are important users of the Common and can be a welcome sight for all if a few simple rules are followed. Mostly they are but sometimes they’re not. Warnings to dog owners are the second most frequent type of warning from the police issued on the Common.


The bye-laws state that dogs must be under control at all time. Legally, this means if a dog is off its leash, it must obey its owner after a maximum of three commands. 

  • Familiarise yourself with the Council’s two dog control maps for the northern and southern halves of the Common. They show where dogs are excluded or must be on a leash. Obey the signs.

  • Specific rules apply to dogs near the pond. Officially, dogs must be on a leash when near the pond and they should not enter the water (puddles are okay though). This is because dogs can disturb, injure and even kill wildfowl, including swans, and especially their offspring. The water is also not as clean as it might seem, and anti-flea treatments are harmful to aquatic life.

  • It is an offence under the bye-laws not to pick up your dog’s mess. Put it in the red bins provided. Dog poo contains bacteria and parasites that are harmful to people and wildlife.

  • An individual may not walk more than four dogs at one time without a license. A dog walking license restricts the number of dogs walked to a maximum of six. No new licenses are being issued.