Council set to criminalise dog walkers.
The consultation period closes on 23rd November so please act swiftly to have your say...
TO VIEW LEWES DISTRICT COUNCIL PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Plans to impose a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) on Telscombe Tye
Lewes District Council via Telscombe Town Council and the farmer (who is also a town councillor and the Deputy Mayor of Telscombe Cliffs) are planning to impose a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) over the whole of Telscombe Tye in order to restrict dog walking. This will mean that you can be convicted of a criminal offence for walking your dog on the Tye off the lead even if there are no sheep actually on the Tye and face a £1000 fine.
Public Spaces Protection Order are designed to “tackle activities carried on in a public place which have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in its locality” Public Spaces Protection Orders are contained within the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing act and are commonly used to prevent street drinking and begging.
The farmer has alleged (and Lewes District Council has taken his word for it) that there were 31 sheep and 50 lambs killed by dogs on the Tye in 2017, 81 in total.
Dog owners labelled 'Anti-social'
This relates just to the community flock of 100 adults and their offspring so represents a third of the flock IN A YEAR. So they are saying that these attacks reached such a level in 2017 that this constituted ‘anti-social behaviour that has had such a detrimental effect on the quality of life’ of local residents that they can be justified in restricting how you walk your dog.
We say that the number of sheep allegedly killed by dogs has been grossly exaggerated and there has been no evidence adduced to prove them.
There are numerous other reasons to explain sheep deaths on the Tye. Defra list the most common causes of deaths in lambs as; infectious diseases, congenital diseases, exposure and starvation, predators and misadventure, lack of flock management and husbandry by the farmer and that increased supervision and staffing around lambing time and early recognition of problem lambs can increase survival rates.
Furthermore, the alleged numbers of sheep deaths are completely disproportionate to the national statistics. For example in North Wales (the worst area in the UK for dog attacks on sheep) in 2017 there were 117 sheep deaths caused by dogs out of a flock of 5 million and yet we are being asked to believe that 31 ewes and 50 lambs have been killed from a flock of 100 and their offspring.
Alternative areas unsuitable
It has been suggested that Chatsworth Park, the cliff top and the undercliff walk are suitable alternatives for off-lead walks. We refute this and say that it would lead to those places becoming more congested with dogs in a much more confined space with the potential for dog conflict in areas that children can be expected to be.
The survey asks very limited questions in a targeted way, we would ask you to tick the ‘strongly disagree‘ box next to all three options on the survey and send an email firstname.lastname@example.org or a letter to Lewes District Council IN ADDITION to the survey to the council survey setting out your reasons as to why you object.
Please consider including the following:
How many incidents of sheep worrying/attacks have you personally witnessed since 2016? We have chosen that period as the council have now moved the goalposts and given the farmer’s figures for that period in the document attached to the consultation on their website.
Please describe whether the alleged dog attacks in that period have had a detrimental effect on the quality of your life and any comments you have to refute the fact that your quality of life is being affected because that is what LDC is telling us is happening !
Please describe what you have witnessed on the Tye regarding the state of the sheep and the general way they are managed by the farmer e.g. provision of water/ shade in the heat and shelter in the cold, particularly at lambing time.
Any personal experiences of/ interactions with the farmer.
Please include any alternative suggestions you may have of keeping the sheep safe. eg. electric fencing that can be moved around similar to that at Beacon Hill and Sheepcote Valley; taking the sheep off the Tye more regularly; using effective methods of communication (utilising social media and TTC’s website) to tell dog walkers when the sheep are or are not on the Tye.
Please comment on how appropriate you feel the suggested alternative dog walking sites are.
HAVE YOUR SAY!
So if you would like to have your say in the public consultation please go onto the Lewes District Council Website and type Telscombe Tye in the search box or use this link:
or collect a paper copy of the survey from the Civic Centre in Central Ave.
You can email additional comments to:
or send written comments to:
Lewes district Council,
Lewes, BN7 1AB
Lastly, please consider adding to the end of your email/letter that you “fully endorse all of the points made by the Guardians of the Tye in this consultation” as we will be sending our lengthy list of observations and they will be based on fact, not flimsy allegations.
The consultation period closes on 23rd November so please act swiftly to have your say.
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