Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
Members received a verbal update from the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath concerning the dog walker code of conduct and licence consultation.
The Superintendent confirmed that the report from the consultant with the draft scheme had not been finalised and would now come to the April HHCC meeting for feedback. The next step was to form a small working party looking in detail at the draft code of conduct and the licensing scheme consultation. Key issues to address was providing clarity between private and commercial gain and defining the byelaw for effective control.
A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) felt that the current wording was constrictive for non-commercial dog walkers and recommended a change in tone.
Members agreed that the number of dogs that could be walked at one time was the key issue and that it needed to be explicit that dog waste was a health hazard. A Member (Highgate Society) also recommended changing the wording “dog social skills” to “well behaved and social”.
In response to a question (Hampstead Rugby Club) concerning how to identify a commercial dog walker from a normal dog walker, Members were informed that commercial walkers would wear something identifiable (?) but walkers would stand out from how regularly they visited the Heath if they did not have a licence. This would be defined in the code of conduct.