Opinion – Sutton Park under threat from these mindless fools

Sitting virtually in the heart of landlocked Birmingham, Sutton people are privileged to have one of the finest beauty spots in the country. Sutton Park is one of the largest urban parks in Europe, at 2,200 acres, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and has been a National Nature Reserve since 1997.

Bracebridge Pool is a particularly picturesque spot and an oasis for many during troubled lockdown times. But these pictures show how mindless cretins who gather in large groups treat it, scattering beer bottles, coffee cups and other human detritus across the frozen pool. Why? There are bins nearby. Answer: They don’t give a toss.
Good to see the pub has taken action though, with a few random notices, which even now are out of date as we go back into lockdown. The pub provides a welcome takeaway service, but it could do more to discourage the shocking behaviour and has finally removed seating near the takeaway.

It’s not just the mindless drunken yobs though. Throughout the rest of the park there is a certain breed of dog owner. I am ambivalent about dogs, neither loving nor hating them.

They have their place in people’s families, but those people also have a responsibility for the behaviour of their pets, which are, after all, dumb animals. The pets I mean. Then there are the mountain bikers, racing past without warning and putting life and limb at risk with their reckless riding, not to mention spraying walkers with mud. You know, the latex-clad supercilious Tour de France wannabes who think it’s all about them and if you complain, or berate them in any way, use their helmet camera videos to threaten you with the police.

But there is that air of exceptionalism with certain dog owners. They let their animals do pretty much as they please, including harassing the Exmoor ponies roaming in the park. Just last week I saw dogs worrying these creatures on three occasions in the space of 10 minutes.

Then there was the oaf who had his dogs swimming in Little Bracebridge, coming out and shaking themselves dry all people sitting at nearby benches. When one complained he was told to fuck off. Nice, and a great advert for dog owners.

On another occasion I saw a huge Great Dane bound out of the bushes to knock a child over. The owner’s reaction. Indifference, but gurning with: “he’s really lively today.” They might as well be on the Planet Tharg. They give responsible dog owners a bad name.

Get them on a lead, the dogs that is. The park is special, the wildlife is special and while dogs are special to families, they should not be allowed to roam free in the park. It should’t be necessary with extendable leads.

We are lucky to have Sutton Park. Shame the morons want to spoil it for everyone.

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