Dog issue needs to be tackled

Reader says there is a lack of places to walk pets in Honiton.

Glad to see some movement on the whole ‘dog issue’ in Honiton!

I moved to Honiton just a year ago and have a small dog and have found it difficult to find somewhere ‘safe’ to walk him. Previously, I lived at Exmouth and Budleigh and there is plenty of provision for dog walkers elsewhere. Lovely walks along the River Otter and cycle paths.

The obvious and most beautiful place I’ve found in Honiton is down Clapper Lane, ‘under’ the A30 over the river bridge up to Coombe Woods or further up towards Coombe Raleigh, turn left, up a hill and down over the fields to Dowell Street. This is a public footpath but muddy in winter, lots of stiles and a plethora of barbed wire everywhere! I did find a shorter route down through two fields, not used for crops or stock, to the river but obviously the landowner, suffering from ‘Oi, gerroff my land’ syndrome, put a stop to that by erecting a double barbed-wire strand fence around the bottom field.

The riverside walk from Clapper Lane end to Dowell Street is lovely but not a public footpath, although used by dog walkers, and is difficult to negotiate with barbed wire and electric fences. It runs parallel to Honiton High Street and would be a wonderful alternative for dog walkers currently using the High Street and would be possible if the council could purchase this land for the people of Honiton. Having spoken to the farmer who owns the land there he told me that the council had approached him several years ago when looking for land for allotments. This land is too boggy in winter for this but perfect for country walking with dogs.

This would be in line with current government policy to encourage people to engage in healthy exercise. It would be lovely if this could be achieved and help to resolve the current dog fouling problem in Honiton.

I should like to add that I always clear up after my dog and find it very frustrating that not all dog owners do this and give us all a bad name!

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H R Doonan

High Street, Honiton