herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Our parks are spoilt by dogs and vandals

DOGS, youths and vandalism are keeping some city residents out of our parks, a new survey has found.

One in three people are not satisfied with parks in the Dun Laoghaire area -- but say their problems could be fixed.

The Open Space Strategy report, the first ever report carried out by a local authority in Ireland, identified deterrents such as dog fouling, lack of exercise facilities, and anti-social behaviour as being major turnoffs for local constituents.

The report found that 87pc of people stated that they visit a park at least once a week, while 49pc visit a park once a day.

Fears

However, locals expressed dissatisfaction with parks, with 18pc of people citing dog fouling as being a major deterrent, 15pc believe the parks lack facilities, while 13pc do not visit parks due to fears of anti-social behaviour.

According to the report, a number of people said they do not feel safe walking to their local parks due to a high volume of young people congregating.

Concerned constituents also expressed dissatisfaction with children's play areas, with 18pc citing the facilities as "very poor quality" or non-existent.

The public were asked to identify possible improvements to the 193 parks examined in the council's catchment area.

It was suggested by some locals to include "mile markers" and cycle paths to encourage more runners and cyclists.

It was also outlined how there is a need for specific dog areas in parks to allow pet owners to take their dog off a lead.

The report suggested this could encourage more people to use the parks, as "children don't have to play in the same area as dogs which are running free".

Parks such as Shanganagh Park and Killiney Hill Park were identified as having the highest amounts of dog fouling and litter. The park audit also found that 61pc of parks in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown have no benches or other alternative seating areas.

hnews@herald.ie

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