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Public Space Protection Order imposed on Ashford's Conningbrook Lakes


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A new council-imposed order means a range of activities will now be banned or restricted at a popular lake.

Ashford Borough Council has announced that, following a public consultation, a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has been imposed on Conningbrook Lakes.

Many people visit Conningbrook Lakes each day for nature walks or to exercise their dogs. Picture: Vantage Photography
Many people visit Conningbrook Lakes each day for nature walks or to exercise their dogs. Picture: Vantage Photography

PSPOs cover particular activities, meaning that anyone carrying them out in an area under one of these orders can be prosecuted or issued with a £100 fixed penalty notice.

Under the Conningbrook Lakes PSPO all dogs must be kept on leads.

A council spokeswoman said: "As much of the park is designated for nature conservation and grazing, unleashed dogs can disturb wildlife and pose a threat to livestock.

"This measure is also to protect dogs as, although measures are in place to prevent natural toxic algae blooms in the water, they can still occur and be a potential risk."

Organised water sports and activities will continue, but any unauthorised use could land you a £100 fine. Archive picture
Organised water sports and activities will continue, but any unauthorised use could land you a £100 fine. Archive picture

No public swimming or boating is allowed unless it is part of organised water sports activities and classes.

Such sessions are held under supervision by qualified and accredited instructors who can manage the users and aid them in avoiding hazards.

For more information about taking part in these activities, the council advises interested people to contact Freedom Leisure.

Fishing is restricted to members of Mid Kent Fisheries and day tickets for fishing are not available. Those interested in membership should get in touch with Mid Kent Fisheries.

At present, fires or barbecues are not permitted however there are plans to create designated areas within the park, outside of those set aside for nature conservation.

Barbecues are out of the question at the moment, however there are plans to create designated sites. Stock picture
Barbecues are out of the question at the moment, however there are plans to create designated sites. Stock picture

Signage will be installed to highlight the prohibited activities and the full list can also be found on the Ashford Borough Council website.

Cllr Peter Feacey, portfolio holder for community safety, said: “A PSPO gives the council and the police the power to deal with these type of activities immediately and on the ground.

“Often, such incidents may simply require us to point out that this behaviour is unacceptable but, when they become persistent, both council officers and the police will be able to take enforcement action.

“Green spaces, like Conningbrook Lakes, are so important for our wildlife and, in protecting them we also enable them to remain an attractive, welcoming place for residents and visitors too.”

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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