The Council owns the playing fields and the Pavilion but leases them to a separate charity, The Jubilee Playing Fields Committee, which manages the facilities on a day to day basis.
Sorry – Dogs are not allowed on the Playing Fields
The Playing Fields are a play and sports area and not a park. This means that the Fields are available to all residents but that dogs (except for Guide Dogs) are not allowed on the Playing Fields, even on the paths.
Dog faeces is smelly and highly unpleasant stuff but that is the least of the problems when it comes to playing fields. Apart from the risk of infecting any wounds sustained on the field or play area (or existing cuts and grazes), there are significant risks associated the micro-organisms found in normal, healthy dog faeces and in the parasites that can be carried.
The only way of adequately protecting players of all ages, and young children using the play area, is to ban dogs from the playing fields. The only exception is for Assistance / Guide dogs and these must be kept on short leads and under close supervision.
Some key facts:
- Dog faeces contains very high levels of a wide range of disease-forming micro-organisms, bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and MRSA, and parasitic organisms such as Cryptosporidium. One gramme of faeces can contain up to 23 million such organisms, more than enough to cause disease and infection. All of these organisms can survive for long periods (over a year) in soil so scooping up dog faces from grass does not act as an adequate safety precaution (any more than would scraping it up from a carpet and then letting a baby play on it).
- Dog faeces is the primary source of Toxocariasis in humans, particularly when in close contact with soil; children are especially vulnerable. This is a dangerous, unpleasant and potentially blinding disease caused by the eggs of Toxocara Canis – colloquially known as Roundworm. These are passed in large numbers in the faeces of infected dogs and can live in soil for many years after the faeces itself has been washed away. As with bacterial infection, a very small quantity of faeces can contain many eggs. Note, whilst foxes also carry this parasite, they do not normally defaecate in the open and are not implicated in transmission to humans on playing fields.