|Dog Damage||You may have seen Councillor Merrick Cockell's ‘blog' on the RBKC website about the damage being done to trees by dogs. If you did, you would have been as shocked as I was, thinking that the most they could do was cause die back by repeatedly cocking their legs on the first plant they came to in the Park.
The problem, however, is far more serious, as the photo of a tree in Lime Tree Walk, Holland Park clearly shows. Young men, and they are predominantly young men, owning fighting type dogs, use trees as training aids for their dogs and in the process, kill the trees. Last year over 240 trees in the Royal Borough's parks were ripped apart by these powerful dogs. And it's not just trees; swings in children's playgrounds are continuously being ruined.
Of course this is not simply a question of despoiling our parks and open spaces. It is indicative of a much more disturbing malaise. A dog that can do this sort of damage is not a suitable house pet, but not everyone seems to want a dog as a pet. Some young men are doubtless using these dogs as a macho status symbol designed to frighten or intimidate others. There is no way that a park that is being used by people to train fighting dogs can be a safe and relaxing place for residents. The idea that you can focus a dog's potential aggression on destroying a tree and be assured that they will never harm a human is ridiculous, but often claimed. Councillor Cockell would like to hear from you if you have seen dogs being used in this way. He wants to take action to put a stop to this as soon as possible.
We are very sorry that Stella Fear resigned with effect from 31 August. In the three years that she has been here she instigated and carried out a number of the most popular improvements though many park visitors will not have known who was responsible.