More chain link fencing will be added to trees in Queen Square – in an effort to stop dog damage to the bark – but one councillor is warning that dogs could be banned if the vandalism continues.
Many of the specimens on The Lawn have already been encased in wire meshing but it hasn’t stopped someone pulling that down to allow a dog to use his teeth on the trunks.
There have been calls in the past for proper metal fencing around them and also for dogs to be banned from this centre square park but – for now – it’s going to be more of the same chain fencing ‘deterrent’.
It’s my understanding that the damage is being inflicted by one individual who B&NES have tried to serve notice on already. The police and dog warden are still involved.
The B&NES Parks team don’t have the staff to inflict a total dogs ban and it’s thought the approximate £7,000 cost of tailor-made tree guards was an over-reaction and one which might create criticism about being unsightly and attract other issues like litter inside the guards or people climbing on them.
Instead, they are going for a lower-cost solution of reinstating chain link fencing pinned to the ground and with non-toxic grease smeared on the trunks behind.
The Council want anyone spotting dogs and owners doing damage to contact Council Connect.
Cllr Andrew Furse who represents Kingsmead Ward – which includes Queen Square – told me
“I have asked that the parks team makes an inspection occasionally so that the grease and fencing remains in place to deter the vandalism from the dogs which I am told is encouraged by the dog’s owner.
A dog ban rather than ‘dogs on lead’ will be considered if the vandalism continues.”