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Find out more about voting and elections in Southwark

Dogs in parks

We welcome responsible dog owners and their dogs to our parks and open spaces. Unfortunately, incidents relating to dogs are being reported. While irresponsible dog owners are in the minority, they cost the taxpayer money. Money is spent on clearing up dog fouling which affects the enjoyment of visitors. 

How we're helping

  • as well as our park byelaws, we also have dog related byelaws (PDF, 56kb) . They specify where dogs must be kept on leads and dog prohibited areas
  • we have two FIDO machines, which clean up dog fouling in all of our parks across the borough. Many of our medium and large parks have designated 'no dogs' areas
  • dog waste bags are free from Southwark’s libraries and park offices. We have 316 dog waste bins and are spreading the word that dog waste can now be disposed of in litter bins too
  • we hold dog events, dog shows and supplies tool kits. At some events we offer free microchipping (find more information about responsible dog ownership here)
  • we have a Dog Action Group, that meets regularly and works with the Police, Battersea Dogs Home and the RSPCA
  • Dog Control Order (DCO) is in place at One Tree Hill. Due to issues with people taking large numbers of dogs into this nature reserve, handlers are now limited to four dogs at one time
  • the Dog (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 applies to all public areas in the country and allows councils to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to owners who don't clean up after their dog

Dog Control Orders (DCOs)

There are four different types of Dog Control Orders that can be introduced:

  1. Dogs must be on a lead when asked to by an authorised officer
  2. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times
  3. Dogs aren't allowed in a specified area at any time
  4. Restriction on the number of dogs in a specified area

DCOs give authorised council officers the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to an owner who doesn't comply with the rules of the DCO.

We can't introduce a DCO without extensive consultation, as set out by the government

Dog fouling and health risk

Dog fouling is unpleasant for others and dangerous to the public’s health, particularly for young children as it can cause serious illnesses.

If you're a dog owner, you're responsible to clean up after your dog and dispose of it safely. Bagged dog mess can be put into dog bins, litter bins and domestic waste bins. If you fail to do so, you can be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice of £50.

Page last updated: 30 September 2022

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