Dogs to be banned from the Longleat estate in Wiltshire

Longleat House Dogs will be banned in part of the grounds and gardens

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Dogs are to be banned from the inner part of the Longleat estate in Wiltshire.

Estate officials told dog walkers at a public meeting on Tuesday that their animals posed a health and safety risk to children and the animals kept there.

They also said security breaches meant dog walkers and cyclists would no longer have access to the inner area of the site around the house.

Around 90% of the estate remains open to the public.

Longleat chief executive David Bradley said: "One of the biggest problems we've had in the formal grounds and gardens is dog mess.

"And there have been several attacks on children by dogs when we've been open to the public, so we've had to restrict the access to dogs."

He said it was part of an overall review of the estate due to safety and security concerns in the immediate area around the house and gardens.

Cyclist access

He said: "We've had some very serious security issues recently which include robberies and vandalism, and on the advice of the police and insurers we've tightened security."

Mr Bradley also confirmed that talks were ongoing with Sustrans, which operates part of the National Cycle Network through the estate, about continued access for cyclists.

Sustrans has previously said a 10-mile-long detour via Maiden Bradley would have to be introduced if an access agreement was not reached.

Mr Bradley said: "We are working with Sustrans and Wiltshire Council to find routes through the estate which don't impact on the inner core. We're looking for alternative routes through the estate.

"I really don't believe that people are going to have to cycle an extra 10 miles."

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