Commercial dog walkers are being warned that they are not welcome on a common.

Residents say commercial dog walkers are bringing up to 20 animals to Bricket Wood Common at a time – making it dangerous for wildlife, other users and even the dogs themselves.

And it is hoped they will be deterred by new ‘commercial dog walking is not permitted’ signs – reminding users that it is not permitted to run a business on the common.

“The number of dogs being walked by one person can be up to 20,” said Cllr Sue Featherstone, who is vice-chair of the Bricket Wood Common management committee.

“They are not on leads – and its unacceptable.

“What is really worrying is that if a group of dogs is exercised in the same area on a regular basis they can become like a pack.”

On at least one occasion, says Cllr Featherstone, dogs have darted out from the common into the path of traffic.

And, she says, a muntjac deer is believed to have been mauled by dogs, while off the lead.

Bricket Wood Common management committee last week agreed to the new signs – reminding users that it is prohibited to run a business on the common.

Meanwhile the committee also plans to gather evidence of people walking more than four dogs at a time.

And ultimately that could lead to a Public Spaces Protection Order, which would make walking too many dogs in the area a fineable offence.

Cllr Featherstone, who represents the St Stephen ward, believes professional dog walkers are travelling to the common from London, where she says walking too many dogs is banned.

She wants users of Bricket Wood Common to record every time they see someone walking more than four dogs.

The evidence, she says, will then be used to determine whether a protection order is warranted and whether it could be pursued.

Information can be passed to Cllr Featherstone, via her email which is