'Irresponsible': Anger at pet owner after dog chases deer on Broads nature reserve
PUBLISHED: 13:54 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 17:58 13 December 2018
An incident which saw a dog chasing a deer through a nature reserve has sparked a warning to ‘irresponsible’ pet owners.
It comes after a dog was seen off its lead on Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve near Lowestoft at the weekend chasing after a deer.
Matt Gooch, Broads Sites Manager at Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said that an “irresponsible dog owner” had allowed their pet to chase Chinese Water Deer at Carlton Marshes.
Mr Gooch said: “It would have been quite disturbing for the animal involved and was quite shocking for the people who witnessed the incident.
“For us, and with what is going on at the reserve, it is frustrating.
“There is no excuse for this and shows the importance of keeping dogs on leads on nature reserves like Carlton Marshes and the wider countryside.”
The incident has been reported to Suffolk Constabulary’s rural crime team.
Working with Waveney District Council, Suffolk Wildlife Trust was granted a Public Space Protection Order in April last year to combat increasing problems of dog disturbances and mess caused by unruly canine visitors to its Carlton and Oulton Marshes reserves.
It was introduced following a rise in recorded incidents in recent years of dogs disturbing livestock as well as unsettling visitors, especially school children.
But since its introduction 20 months ago, a scheme that has also been run in conjunction with Share-with care has seen the work of about a dozen dog ambassadors lead to dog fouling incidents decreasing significantly.
Mr Gooch said: “The dog ambassadors and volunteers have been our eyes and ears on the ground, and it has worked really well.
“With the Public Space Protection Order in place, it is a fineable offence to have your dog off a lead on the signed areas of the nature reserve, and three fines have been imposed for dog fouling.
“Considering where we were, we have nowhere near the amount of dog related incidents now.
“This highlights that the efforts need to continue and our dog ambassadors are important in helping people understand the impact they could have on their surroundings as the disturbance to many people is invisible.”
The reserve is keen for further dog ambassadors to volunteer and join the scheme. If anyone is interested email email@example.com or call 01473 890089.