DIFFICULT dogs can run free thanks to a couple who have turned their six-acre farm into a place for problem pooches.

Lynne and Alan Larkman run Mutts Meadow in Bampton, West Oxfordshire, which lets owners of rescue and nervous dogs walk their pets safely off their lead.

The couple live onsite and go further than simply supervising the animals, with dog shows and cream teas also on offer.

Mutts Meadow describes itself as the only dog play field of its kind in Oxfordshire and Mrs Larkman says it provides an invaluable service to owners of problem pets.

She said: “All sorts of dogs come to us but most have got issues.

“Some run away and bite people or other dogs.

“These owners take their dogs out for a walk and can’t relax, but this is a controlled area where dogs and owners can come and enjoy themselves.”

The pair of animal lovers were encouraged to open the dog play field after adopting, Jewell, a rescue dog after their previous pet died.

Mrs Larkman said: “We thought we must get another, so we rescued Jewell but he’s difficult to deal with.

“He’s absolutely lovely like a lot of them are, but if he sees anything move then he’s gone.”

While these issues could have nasty consequences in a public park, dogs like Jewell can roam to their heart’s content at Mutts Meadow.

Pets can make use of assault courses, enter dog shows and even take a break from the hot weather with special doggy paddling pools.

Owners pay £5 to spend 30 minutes on-site, although prices vary depending on the number of vehicles and dogs required.

The Larkmans earn up to £70 a week and could make more, but Mrs Larkman believes this would come at the cost of the animals.

She said: “I don’t take a lot of business so there’s room for more.

“I wouldn’t want to take away the opportunity that young people have of walking dogs for profit, but there are all sorts of rules and regulations and they are often broken by people who make vast profit without being responsible.

“What we can offer is that we live here on site and look after all the dogs, rather than just giving them to anyone.”

Business is booming at Mutts Meadow, with the couple even more inundated with calls after an article in The Times about dog play fields.

While there are 300 places like Mutts Meadow across the nation, the next nearest are across county lines in Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.

This is reflected in the Larkmans’ clientele, with owners bringing their pets from as far afield as High Wycombe and Newbury.

Mrs Larkman also believes that the wildlife lovers’ picturesque surroundings helps draw in the crowds.

She said: “It is our little oasis for wildlife, so while sitting in the shade throwing a ball for the dog you might spot woodpeckers, owls, buzzards, kites and the very endangered tree sparrow.”

To book a space for your dog email lynnelarkman@hotmail.com