Dog owners are asked to make sure they keep their dog on a leash in designated areas to protect sheep grazing on Nelson’s reserves.

There have been six reported dog attacks this Spring/Summer so far, which have resulted in three sheep being killed.

Sheep are an important part of Nelson City Council’s strategy to reduce fire risk on reserves. Sheep graze on potentially flammable vegetation in areas of the reserve that are harder to maintain using techniques like mowing.

“This is a bit of an SOS call for our grazing sheep. The attacks are completely preventable,” says Group Manager Community Services Andrew White.

“The signage in reserves is clear, if you are asked to keep your dog on a leash there is always good reason. The sheep are not owned by Council, we rely on a local grazier. If he continues to lose sheep, grazing may become unsustainable and we will lose one of the key ways in which we reduce fire risk.

“Without sheep on the reserves the risk profile during fire season changes, and consequently Fire and Emergency New Zealand may recommend an early closure of the reserve. It really is in everyone’s interests to keep dogs under control.”

Areas where sheep are grazing in Nelson include:
  • The Grampians – 10% of the reserve only, look for signage
  • Wakapuaka Cemetery
  • Sir Stanley Whitehead Reserve
  • Areas of the Maitai Walkway
  • Paremata Flats Reserve

There are many places in Nelson where dogs can be exercised off leash including:

  • Branford Park, Nelson
  • Corder Park, Nelson
  • Marsden Valley Dog Park
  • Railway Reserve, Nelson
  • Tahunanui Back Beach, Nelson