District's first-ever council-owned dog exercise area to officially open

Press ReleaseUpdated: 8 September 2023Leisure, parks and culture

The first-ever council-owned dog exercise area is among the improvements set to be unveiled at a popular playing fields in Three Rivers.

Residents will be able to take their dogs to a new secure dog enrichment area at the revamped South Oxhey playing fields to socialise as well as enjoy agility-type apparatus that will keep their tails wagging.

Cllr Chris Lloyd, Lead Member for Leisure, said: “We are excited to open the district’s first council-owned dog enrichment area that will no doubt be loved by residents across Three Rivers and their dogs.

“You can bring your dog here to exercise and practice recall techniques or teach other tricks in a secure and safe place. It will also be useful for those dogs that are recovering from injury or are timid as they can be allowed off-lead but will be kept secure.

“Please make sure your dog is always supervised by someone over the age of 16 years and keep them under control. It goes without saying but do clean up after your dog should they foul in or around the enrichment area.”

Work began on the improvements to South Oxhey playing Fields in May following public consultation with residents on what they would like to see. The existing pathways, tennis courts and skateboard park have been refurbished and the five-a-side football pitch has been replaced with a multi-use game area along with table tennis tables and chess to inspire upcoming Bobby Fischers.

Nearly £470,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy pot - a charge the council implements on new developments – was used to fund the project. Additionally, the council received £51,667 from the Lawn Tennis Association, which is the governing body of tennis in Great Britain, to support the tennis court refurbishment works.

Cllr Lloyd added: “As a council, we are committed to ensuring our residents and their children have access to high-quality parks and play areas in order to live healthy and active lifestyles.

“The incredible revamped playing fields do just that, and I thank our contractors and council officers for turning the area into a community and social hub for families and their dogs to enjoy.”

The vice-chair of the council, Cllr Raj Khiroya, will officially cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the revamped playing fields on Saturday, 16 September.

The day will be marked with fun activities and a chance to test out the new equipment – with multiple free sessions taking place, such as shooting hoops at the basketball court at the MUGA or learning how to skate at the new skatepark.

Refreshments will also be provided by the scouts in their nearby scout hut.

Cllr Khiroya said: “I cannot wait to officially open the fantastic new playing fields and greet everybody. This will be a great day out and I urge families to come along and join in on the fun.”