Dog walkers banned after 20 years

From left, Norman Holifield, with Tarka; Bicester councillor Les Sibley and Marion Jeskowiak with Finch

From left, Norman Holifield, with Tarka; Bicester councillor Les Sibley and Marion Jeskowiak with Finch

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Bicester and Banbury. Call me on (01865) 425426

DOG walkers are being stopped from using land owned by Bicester Heritage due to ‘health and safety reasons’.

For 20 years Marion Jeskowiak has been walking her dogs across land used by the Bicester Gliding Club bordering Skimmingdish Lane.

For a reduced rate, about £30, the gliding club had allowed pet owners to become social members and use the site as much as they liked.

But last month people exercising their pets were told they could not use the ground for ‘health and safety reasons’ by Bicester Heritage, which took over the site last April.

Mrs Jeskowiak, who has two terriers called Tarka and Finch, said: “I have been walking my dogs here for 20 years and there has never been a problem before. Most people stick to the edge of the field.

“I do understand about the health and safety aspects, but what about in the mornings from 6am-8.30am? Or in the evenings when the gliders have finished for the day?

“No one is even using the site – why couldn’t we have come to a compromise? Lots of us dog walkers have been left feeling very upset, we do not think it is fair.”

The 53-year-old Kings Meadow Estate resident said: “I just want to make it clear this is not the gliding club’s fault. They have never had a problem with us walking there.”

Dan Geoghegan, managing director of Bicester Heritage, said they bought the site from the Ministry of Defence, which had rented it to the gliding club, in April 2013.

But as Bicester Heritage is a private company, it has been unable to get the correct liability insurance to clearly allow for dog walkers to use the site.

He said: “Having live animals running around with live aircraft is not really compatible. Regretfully we have not been able to find a find a middle way and it has been a difficult decision to have to make.

“The only thing worse than having to ban dog walkers, would be one of them having an accident.”

But Bicester Town Councillor Les Sibley said people should be able to walk their pets on the site after the gliders stop at 6pm.

Mr Sibley said: “I don’t think it is fair the residents have to stop, especially as they have been using the site for a number of years.”

  • If anyone has any land suitable to walk dogs on, contact Mr Sibley on 01869 243367.
  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

Botley Road to partially close overnight for three days for emergency repair works

Oxford Mail:

5:18pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

EMERGENCY roadworks in Botley Road will be starting tonight.

Man still fighting for life after Sandford Road bridge fall

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

4:41pm Tuesday 30th September 2014

A man was yesterday still fighting for his life in hospital after falling from a bridge and colliding with a vehicle.

Motorcyclist seriously injured in crash with car near Dorchester

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

11:44am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A MOTORCYCLIST has been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a crash with a BMW.

Dismal start troubles Appleton

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

Oxford United’s position in the table is now a concern for head coach Michael Appleton, who has acknow-ledged it is taking longer than expected to improve results.

Derek Measor's wife says his death tore her world apart as killer driver avoids jail

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th September 2014

A WIDOW whose husband was killed while cycling yesterday told a court it was the worst day of her life.

Girls get some coaching from a top GB runner

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th September 2014

PUPILS at d’Overbroecks College pulled on their running shoes yesterday as 2002 Commonwealth Games 400m relay silver medallist Lesley Owusu gave them advice on how to succeed in both sport and life.

 

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:08pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Myron Blatz says...

The dog walkers of Bicester can't exactly be short on open spaces - or have they now all being designated eco-village sites of financial interest? Perhaps of more conern to the people of Bicester, is what plans Bicester Heritage has for the future of the site in question? Also, that it might not be so much our four-legged friends which BH is worried about, as the on-going access rights of their two-legged owners, and any sort of 'right of way' which they may have enjoyed.
The dog walkers of Bicester can't exactly be short on open spaces - or have they now all being designated eco-village sites of financial interest? Perhaps of more conern to the people of Bicester, is what plans Bicester Heritage has for the future of the site in question? Also, that it might not be so much our four-legged friends which BH is worried about, as the on-going access rights of their two-legged owners, and any sort of 'right of way' which they may have enjoyed. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree