Andrew Cooke and his three Siberian Huskys would like to see a dedicated dog park in Nelson and suggests that Branford Park would be the perfect place for it. Photo: Kate Russell.

‘Nelson needs a dog park’


There are six in Christchurch and even two in Greymouth – but Nelson is lagging behind when it comes to dedicated dog parks, says one local man.

Andrew Cooke is the owner of three Siberian Huskies and would like to see Nelson City Council establish a dedicated dog exercise area in the city.

He spoke out after the article the Nelson Weekly published last week about the growing doggy-doo problem in Glenduan, with two disgruntled residents taking matters into their own hands.

He says that an enclosed, dedicated dog park could help solve the issue by drawing dog owners away from problem areas, as well as provide a safe place for dogs to exercise.

“The crazy part is that there are two dog parks in a small place like Greymouth, and none here,” he says. “I can have my dogs off their leads in certain places but a dog park is something that I have wanted for many years in this region.”

“There is a common theme here that we have the dog beach but I find there can be conflict with fishermen with bait hooks in the sea, and there are horses down there now.”

Andrew has mooted Branford Park in the Maitai as the “perfect spot” for a dog park to go and says that he would even be happy to voluntary manage it himself.

“It’s not used for anything but dog walking. If it was fully fenced and controlled with bins and a dog dispenser it would be really popular.”

Other locals have also taken to social media after last week’s story revealing that Nelson’s doggy-doo issue stretches far wider than Glenduan.

Jordy Soole says she experiences the problem firsthand, with her job being to cut the grass edges of many of the city’s walking tracks.

“Botanical Hill, Grampians, Nile St walkway, Wakapuaka sandflats, Bolwell Reserve and Tahunanui Beach – everywhere you go where dogs are allowed there are huge amounts of dog poo,” she says.

“It’s bad everywhere. Some tracks actually smell because there is so much. It’s also not nice for our crew who get it all over them when cutting with the weed eater. I have lived all over the country and it’s definitely a major problem here.”

Some walkers also expressed dog poo is a “common sight” at Isel Park, as well as Saxton Field and the Railway Reserve.

Andrew believes says the responsibility does lie with dog owners, although he says the council “could be doing more”.

“If an enclosed dog park could help to reduce the problem, then I think it is something that they should be considering.”