I FEEL I need to voice my dismay at the recent changes to access for dog training and exercise for dogs and their families in the Officer’s Field area of Underhill.

For some time there has been a perfectly symbiotic relationship between dogs’ owners and sports users, social football groups, families playing games and the local outdoor education centre being a good example.

This area was also used before the move by the school with no complaints.

It has been an unwritten norm the dog owners avoid the area when it is used by these groups.

Dog owners in this area are respectful and sociable.

There are informal groups who have met in the area for dog socialisation, agility and individuals who need to train their dogs alone in a safe place as they learn to overcome mistreatment.

All this has been going on for many years without complaint.

Lately, arrangements were made to introduce Portland United Football Club to the field and for the banning of dogs from the area at all times.

The football club use this facility for a few hours a week and the field is now empty for days on end, to the dismay of the Underhill dog walking community.

Can these groups be allowed to coexist?