From January 2020, we will require all those using Therfield Heath to walk dogs for commercial gain to purchase a permit from us.

There are many reasons why we have felt it necessary to introduce a permit, not least, pressure from other members of the public. We have found that this is also the approach being taken by many other nature reserves and local authority open spaces.
We are working hard to ensure the heath continues to receive the funding it needs for us to maintain it for everyone. Therfield Heath receives no funding from any local authority, so it falls to the tenants and users of the site to fund it. The sports clubs who use the heath already pay for their professional use, and we are extending this now to others who are making money from the area to help us cover costs – for example – it costs us over £600 a month to empty the bins.

The professional dog walkers permit will mean that:-

  • professional dog walkers are contributing to the costs of things like emptying the poo bins that they add to when they use the heath
  • we can ensure that professional dog walkers are insured
  • we are able to produce and promote a list of the dog walkers with permits
  • if necessary, we are able to remove permits (and the associated promotion) of any professional dog walker who acts inappropriately