The Northern Beaches Council released last week a review of the Dog Parks in the Northern Beaches following representation by dog owner groups last year that there were inadequate off-leash areas.
It was revealed that there are a staggering 43,000 registered dogs in the Northern Beaches. It is unclear how many homes have dogs as many homes may have more than one dog.
Interestingly the report found that Council believed that the off leash dog areas within the Northern Beaches LGA was adequate as there is a higher supply in comparison to four similar sized local government areas in Sydney, and residents are able to access these areas with no more than 10 minutes driving time.
Dog owner representatives argued however that most of these areas are overcrowded, and do not provide adequate facilities.
Current Locations of Unleashed Dog Exercise Areas
Currently Council provides 26 Unleashed Dog Exercise Areas in the three regions including:
1. Hitchcock Park, Careel Bay
2. Dearin Reserve, Newport
3. South Mona Vale Headland (Robert Dunn Reserve)
4. Progress Park, Narrabeen
5. Rowland Reserve, Bayview
6. Mackerel Beach Reserve – from the public wharf north to the boundary with the National Park between
sunrise to 9.30am and 5:00pm to sunset
7. McCarrs Creek Reserve, McCarrs Creek – trial unleashed dog area allowing for unleashed dogs at the western
end of the reserve on weekdays (excluding public holidays) only
8. Deep Creek Reserve – Unleashed Dog Training Area
9. Forestville Memorial Playing Fields
10. Currie Road, Forestville (near Forestville Park)
11. Beverley Job Reserve, Narraweena
12. Flora and Ritchie Roberts Reserve, Griffin Road, Curl Curl (Curl Curl Lagoon)
13. John Fisher Park, Adams Street, Curl Curl
14. Hinkler Park, Pittwater Road, Queenscliff
15. Truman Reserve, Cromer
16. Griffith Park, Long Reef
17. Frenchs Forest Showground, Frenchs Forest
18. LM Graham Reserve, Fairlight
19. Lagoon Park, Queenscliff
20. Manly Cemetery, Fairlight
21. North Harbour Reserve, Condamine Street, Balgowlah
The Council committed $400,000.00, over four years, to be spent to improve facilities for dogs and their owners.
Manly Lagoon Issues
A site specific issue has been identified following complaints concerning dog usage of Manly Lagoon at Queenscliff Bridge. The boundary between the two former Councils at this location was the centre of the Lagoon. The southern bank of the Lagoon formed ‘Manly Lagoon Park’ which is a designated unleashed dog area. However, dogs enter the water at this location and often encroach onto the northern bank and into private properties opposite. One resident informed Council at the meeting that it was not uncommon for dogs to enter his property, even his home, from the other side of the Lagoon.
There is also a playground, barbecue facilities and a cycleway at Manly Lagoon Park which can cause conflicting issues with dogs off-leash. The Council has undertaken to investigate these areas further.
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.