Keep dog on lead to protect wildlife at Guernsey’s St Saviour reservoir

June 1st, 2012 by Guernsey Water

Guernsey Water and Environment Guernsey are reminding people who use the Millennium Walk at St Saviour’s Reservoir to ensure that dogs are kept on leads at all times.

Despite a number of signs around the length of the walk, a number of people are still ignoring these warnings and letting their dogs run free. This could jeopardise the delicate balance of nature that is prevalent at the Millennium Walk.

Environment Guernsey spokesman Jamie Hooper said “if dogs are allowed to roam freely around the Walk it could have long-term consequences. The wildlife does not know how individual dogs will react so many species will take evasive action as a precaution.”

“Studies have shown quite clearly that domestic dogs can have a severe impact on wildlife, with both diversity and abundance of species reduced significantly where dogs are walked off their leads,” he said.

Andrew Redhead, Guernsey Water’s director of water services, added “it is important that people recognise that the Millennium Walk is a nature reserve first and foremost. This is why we have rules in place to ensure that dogs are kept on leads, litter is carefully disposed of and bicycles are not used on the walk.

While we want locals and visitors to enjoy the unique wildlife of the walk and its natural beauty, as custodians of the area we must ensure that its protection is the priority.”

The Millennium Walk was formed in 2000 in consultation with environmental groups and other users.

The Walk measures 3 km, and encircles St Saviour’s reservoir, Guernsey’s largest area of freshwater.

The reservoir is one of Guernsey’s major water storage facilities holding 240 million gallons or 25% of the Island’s total stored water.

The Walk is maintained by Environment Guernsey, who provide two wardens to take care of the site and ensure it is being used sympathetically.

An information leaflet on the walk is available from all hotels and visitor attractions on the Island, and can also be obtained from the Millennium Walk itself.

Alternatively, copies can be downloaded from the Guernsey Water website.

 

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