When we set out to create Chichester Secure Dog Activity Park we weren't sure what the final dog park would look like. What we did know was that we wanted to give the dogs as much of a natural experience as possible. The challenge we had was the dog field was situated next to a sensitive area for nature and included ancient woodland. So how could we protect the sensitive areas, improve and protect the site whilst giving the dogs and customers a secure dog park?
Our approach was to call in the experts. First we consulted with Nick Gray of Grays Ecology who provided a wealth of knowledge about the habitats on site, the wildlife, trees and fauna and how our secure dog field would need to take into account these highly sensitive areas. He also pointed out the opportunity to take a poorly managed paddock with low wildlife value and turn it back over to support the native wildlife. We commissioned Nick to produce a comprehensive site survey so we could work around the areas that would need protecting from dogs.
As we are situated on the Manhood Peninsular Nick recommended we consult with the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group as they have an interest in protecting and connecting wetlands. They visited the proposed secure dog field and because of the nature reserve made a series of recommendations about how we could improve the dog park through hedge row and tree planting.
This vital input meant we could more sympathetically map out the six foot deer fence to incorporate natural areas whilst avoiding areas where dogs would disturb the wildlife. The result is a secure dog park that has nature trails and meadow area that keep the dogs free in four acres to run and roam but allow us to monitor and grow the wildlife opportunities as well.
10 Year Plan for Chichester Secure Dog Activity Park
Of course this is only the beginning of our long term plan to create an amazing secure space for dogs and dog walkers. In 2019 we plan to plant over 100 more native trees and shrubs, grow out the pasture that has become poor grade for wildlife and introduce more nesting sites and monitoring equipment.
By having wide open spaces and engaging areas for dogs and their owners we hope our secure dog park will offer fun and relaxing memories for many years to come.