No-lead walkers abused

Hot spot for dog walkers: Shruggs Wood in Leyland
Hot spot for dog walkers: Shruggs Wood in Leyland

Dog-walkers in Leyland are being subjected to abuse for not having their pets on leads.

Police have confirmed that they’ve received reports of intimidating behaviour against people using Shruggs Wood near Broadfield Drive to walk their animals.

The abuse has been confined to verbal attacks but dog walkers say it’s a worrying problem.

A woman who lives in the area, but who does not want to be named, said dog walkers were being sworn at and threatened by people who wrongly think they should be on leads.

She said: “The council need to put up a clear and easy-to-understand signs that states that dogs can be off leads in the wood.

“This would stop a lot of the anti-social behaviour by people who don’t like dogs.

“Several people, mainly women, have been threatened for having their dogs off leads in the wood. A lady in her late 70s is now too frightened to go out because of it.”

Another resident who lives nearby, but was also too afraid to be named, has seen the abuse happen towards other people.

The 71-year-old said: “It’s not nice because it’s really intimidating.

“I used to go to feel safe going to Shruggs Wood alone, but I don’t anymore. It makes you more cautious.

“You shouldn’t feel like that about somewhere right on your doorstep.”

A spokesperson for the council confirmed to the Guardian that: “People are allowed to walk dogs off the lead at Shruggs Wood as it is classed as public open space.

“Dogs are allowed off the lead on all public parks and recreation grounds (although not on children’s playgrounds) as long as they are not out of control.”

The Guardian has reported how people have complained about South Ribble Borough Council’s scheme to fine people anything from £75 to £1,000 for letting their dogs off the lead on roads and streets.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said: “We are aware of the issue in the area and have received a complaint that we are looking into.”