Dog walking

Residents invited to have their says on new measures for public open spaces in Northampton

People across West Northamptonshire are being invited to have their say on new measures being proposed in Northampton to encourage responsible dog ownership and prevent smoking in certain public open spaces.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) are consulting on a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) covering the Northampton area. The proposals follow on from similar measures adopted across the Daventry and South Northants areas last year.

People could be fined £100 if they fail to:

  • pick up their dog’s mess and dispose of it properly
  • carry the means to pick up after their dog
  • prevent their dog from entering public places from which dogs are excluded, such as play areas, schools and some leisure facilities including skateparks, tennis courts, MUGA (multi-use games areas) and bowling greens.
  • keep their dog on a lead in areas such as in cemeteries, allotments, car parks, outside schools on school days and sports ground during sporting activity
  • walk their dog on a lead when in Northampton Town Centre and Upton Country Park

The PSPO would also make it an offence to smoke tobacco, tobacco related products, smokeless tobacco products including electronic cigarettes, herbal cigarettes, or any illegal substances within the boundaries of play areas, land near schools, skateparks, tennis courts, MUGA and bowling greens.

Cllr David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for community safety and engagement and regulatory services said: “This consultation provides an opportunity for people to provide us with their views on the proposed measures for public open spaces in the former Northampton borough. The PSPO proposals seek to encourage responsible dog ownership and prevent people from smoking in public areas, such as in children’s play areas.

“We look forward to reviewing comments and looking at how we can further support our communities.”

The PSPO makes it an offence for someone to walk more than four dogs at once in public spaces. However, that requirement is not being enforced whilst conversations continue with representatives of professional dog walkers and consideration is being given to the development of a licensing scheme and associated code of conduct to support these groups.

Residents, businesses, and other organisations are invited to have their say on the proposed PSPO for the Northampton area during a four-week consultation which runs until Monday 17 April. People can view the proposals and have their say by visiting

The consultation results will then be analysed and used to help shape a Draft Order. The feedback provided will help to shape the final proposals and guide councillors in their decisions. If agreed by Councillors, the varied PSPO will apply across West Northants until October 2025.


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