Dogs worry sheep on Northam Burrows

DOGS, drivers and vandals are causing havoc on Northam Burrows and the gates of the country park are now to be locked at night during the winter months. For the second time this summer dogs not kept under control by their owners have attacked sheep. At le

DOGS, drivers and vandals are causing havoc on Northam Burrows and the gates of the country park are now to be locked at night during the winter months.

For the second time this summer dogs not kept under control by their owners have attacked sheep.

At least one sheep had to be put down last week after being bitten by a dog and others were left bloody and shaken by dogs chasing them.

In June and July, nine sheep were reported killed and more injured by dogs let off their leads and left to run.


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Northam Burrows Senior Ranger Shawn Corin said it's not just sheep that are suffering. The general disturbance to wildlife - in particular at this time of the year, the over-wintering birds such as teal, brent geese, dunlin, redshank, greenshank and curlew - was also a cause for concern.

"A lot of these are species under threat of extinction. The vast majority of dog owners coming to the Burrows do behave responsibly, control their dogs, pick up the mess and cause no problems whatsoever. But, unfortunately, some don't and this can lead to tragic consequences, causing death and injury to sheep and wildlife," he said.

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Torridge District Council's lead member for Northam Burrows, Cllr Andrew Eastman, said: "These instances of dog worrying must stop. I urge people to act responsibly, keep their dogs under control and respect the wildlife on the Burrows. It's a wonderful natural resource for all of us - people and animals alike - let's keep it that way."

Continuing vandalism and irresponsible drivers entering the Burrows after dark and deliberately driving over and skidding on the grasslands and dunes is also causing problems.

This has brought the decision to lock the gates at night throughout the winter.

From November 1 the gates will be closed from 6pm until 7am, meaning there will be no vehicle access doing these times.

Anyone with any information regarding any of the incidents above can contact the Burrows Centre on (01237) 479708.

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