For the dog walkers in London, have you ever wondered where the best dog parks in London are? We have made a list of areas you and your dog can go without having to worry about being thrown out. However remember, you should always comply with the house rules of any public space.
- It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, eg: In a public place, in a private place (eg a neighbour’s house or garden), in the owner’s home. The law applies to all dogs. Some types of dogs are banned.
- Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if they injure someone, make someone worried that it might injure them. A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if it injures someone’s animal, the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal.A farmer is allowed to kill your dog if it’s worrying their livestock.
- You can be fined up to £5,000 and/or sent to prison for up to 6 months if your dog is dangerously out of control. You may not be allowed to own a dog in the future and your dog may be destroyed. If you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years and/or fined. If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’. If you allow your dog to kill someone you can be sent to prison for up to 14 years and/or get an unlimited fine. If you allow your dog to injure a guide dog you can be sent to prison for up to 3 years and/or fined.
Dog Control Orders
- Local councils in England and Wales can issue Dog Control Orders (DCOs). These mean that in public areas with DCOs, you may have to: keep your dog on a lead, put your dog on a lead if told to by a police officer, police community support officer or someone from the council, stop your dog going in certain places – like farmland or parts of a park, limit the number of dogs you have with you (this applies to professional dog walkers too), clear up after your dog. DCOs don’t apply to private land if you have permission from the land owner or person who controls the land.
- Penalties, if you ignore a DCO, you can be fined: £50 on the spot (a ‘Fixed Penalty Notice’), up to £1,000 if it goes to court, you can’t be fined if you’re a registered blind dog owner.
- DCOs in your area. Local councils must let the public know where DCOs are in place. If dogs aren’t allowed in a park, there must be signs saying so. If the council plans to put a new DCO in place, it must put up a notice and publish it in a local newspaper and on its website. The notice must tell you: where the new DCO will apply, if there’s a map and where you can see it, where you can write or email to have your say – you should have at least 28 days.After 28 days, your local council will decide whether to go ahead with the DCO or change it. If there are lots of changes, the council will publish another notice, with the same timescales.
Dog parks in London!
The Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill
The Regent’s Park covers 410 acres and includes stunning rose gardens with more than 30,000 roses of 400 varieties. The Park has excellent sports facilities and with nearly 100 acres available is the largest outdoor sports area in Central London. Please note however there are many sections of the park that dogs are not allowed. You can find a full list on arrival. It is advised to keep the dog on the lead when near the deer, ponds and birds. As a safety precaution, you never know those birds could bite 🙂
Paddington Recreation Ground
Very dog friendly park between St Johns Wood and Notting Hill. There are three dog only areas and they are allowed off the lead in the main park. Some wooded areas can be explored, good for a game of fetch. The Café also has a special section for dog owners and dogs.
Richmond Park, at almost 2500 acres, is the largest Royal Park in London and is home to around 650 free roaming deer. There you can find hills, woodlands, ponds, gardens and grasslands set amongst ancient trees, a tranquil place to go and enjoy with your dog. The Park is designated as a National Nature Reserve (NNR), a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). You should be aware this park is home to 650 roaming deer, if you don’t think your dog would get on with these forest creatures probably best to choose another park
Stoney Creek Meadows
The second biggest dog park in London, you can find Stoney creek in West London. Just like its names suggests, the park is surrounded by beautiful meadows although is subject to flooding, so watch out! There is a small dog area, secure fencing, benches, toilets and a bulletin board for the latest park updates. A great way to meet other dog owners in the community!
Greenwich is the oldest Royal Park and home to a small herd of Fallow and Red deer. Situated on top of a hill, visitors enjoy sweeping views across the River Thames to St Paul’s Cathedral and beyond. The park is part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site, host to the Prime Meridian Line and the old Royal Observatory, as well as having the National Maritime Museum as a neighbour.