Dog owners hit out at mess left by visitors to Highbury Fields
PUBLISHED: 11:40 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:55 21 August 2019
Neighbours of Highbury Fields are furious at the mess left by the crowds who descend on the park every time the sun shines.
Dog walkers say the rubbish dumped next to overflowing bins is causing problems for their pets and they are fed up at the state of their beloved park.
The long-contested allowance of barbecues on the park means it is often heaving during the summer months - and it was over the Easter Bank Holiday, too. But the issue surrounding their use is, for once, not the cause of frustration for most people.
Imogen Gaitskell, who walks her dog on the park, said: "I don't have a problem with the barbecuing - it's what people leave behind. If you come here in the morning after the weekend there are chicken bones left behind which are not good for the dogs."
Alma-Kori Felber ,who runs a local dog walking business, said: "Little sticks that you put sausages on are dangerous for dogs as they can get caught in their throat. The council pick them up but lots are left behind. It is careless."
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Lily Gupta added: "I've been a dog owner for a year and for the first time appreciate the difficulty dog owners have pre, during and post barbecue periods because finding a space to walk your dog becomes difficult - it's full, and sadly there is litter and food remains, which is not great for dogs and residents alike. I don't want barbecues to stop but I want the people barbecuing to be responsible and take their litter away."
Islington Council introduced a specific barbecue area in the park last year. Earlier this year it consulted on plans for a byelaw, which would give its enforcement officers powers to seize the barbecues if the rules are broken. The feedback from the consultation is now being reviewed.
If it is adopted, people will continue to be allowed to use them in the marked area near to Highbury and Islington station until 9pm.
One lady said: "Local people can no longer take a stroll or walk their dogs in Highbury Fields the morning after a hot day, when groups of people have arrived at the fields from across London to barbecue."
An Islington spokesperson said: "These bins are emptied on a regular basis and demand levels are closely monitored. On this occasion there was a slight delay in getting the bins emptied. [...] All rubbish was collected by 9.30am.
"We always encourage visitors to Highbury Fields to be considerate and leave them as they found them."