STEVE Parkes, a trustee of Wharfedale Naturalists Society and de-facto manager of Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Nature Reserve has welcomed an amendment to Bradford Council’s Public Control Orders relating to dog owners.

It means that all dogs must now be kept on leads at all times around lakes and ponds across the district. This also applies to all sports grounds, fields, parks and pitches when they are being used for organised, authorised events. The Order also requires persons in charge of dogs to immediately remove dog mess and to carry poo bags.

He said: “A big thank you to local people for their support on this and for Bradford Council for making the necessary legal changes. The vast majority of dog walkers do already comply as they understand the damage that can be done, for those that may be tempted not to, then a fixed penalty fine of £100 or a penalty of up to £1000 if it goes to court awaits them.”

Last year a pair of swans nesting at Ilkley Anglers site at Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits lost their two remaining cygnets to a dog that was allowed to run out of control and enter the pond on the Reserve.

The swans are back nesting at the same site this year.