Dog park gets thumbs up

Dog walker Penny Churchill with one of her two Miniature Schnauzers. Behind her is daughter Cassie, 2, with other dogs enjoying the dog park.

The reopened Ashburton Dog Park is proving a hit with dogs and their owners.

Pooches big and small are enjoying the dedicated canine playground on the northeast bank of the Ashburton River at State Highway 1.

The dog park was closed after the May 2021 flood event when fences were washed out and the popular grassed area was left littered with shingle, river silt and holes in the ground.

The post-flood clean up involved repair work, the removal of trees and recontouring the bank to make it easier to mow and maintain.

The dog park reopened just before Christmas and is now 50 per cent bigger.

It has separate areas for small dogs (nearest the state highway) and a larger, all dogs park to the east.

There is additional play equipment for dogs and a water fountain/dog drinker is coming.

First time visitor to the site Penny Churchill, who owns two Miniature Schnauzers, said she was impressed with the dog park.

“The dogs can safely run around off the lead and there is a good mix of dogs and friendly owners to talk to.”

She said her dogs Turner and Toby would definitely be returning.

Fellow dog walker Felicity Gray was another happy with the new look area.

“There’s still a few rough areas to sort out, but my dog Hugo loves the tunnels and racing around with the other dogs.

“They’ve done a good job overall and there’s more of a relaxed atmosphere among dog owners here because it is totally fenced.”

Mrs Gray said she also visited the new dog exercise area off Company Road, but that was unfenced.

The dog park is managed by the Ashburton District Council and the current entrance for those driving to it is at the southern end of William Street.

A new entrance off Cass Street is expected to be open in February.

-By Mick Jensen