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Farmers raking it in charging dog owners £20 to walk in empty fields

Lottie and Tess

Dogs walkers are turning to farmers’ empty fields to exercise safely their pets.

Some are paying £20 an hour to secure an isolated private field.

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They can let their dogs off the leash to run off boundless energy.

Kathryn and David Cross set up the dog walking scheme five years ago.

They expected no more than ten bookings a week.

Now, Centre Paws in Norfolk is booked from “dawn to dusk”.

Prices vary from £3 for a 30-minute slot to £20 for an hour.

Some farmers report more than 100 bookings a week.

Rocky

Mr and Mrs Cross said:

“We were overwhelmed with demand.

“It’s way more successful than we thought it would be.

“We thought we would have maybe ten dogs a week and then we had hundreds of dogs a week.

“It has surprised us — it was like, ‘Who is going to pay to walk their dog?’ — but it is unbelievable what demand there is.”

Katherine Shields, creator of directory Dog Walking Fields said exercise land had “increased rapidly over the past five years”.

Nia Borsey, graduate planner at Fisher German chartered surveyors, said:

“We’re seeing secure dog exercise areas develop into a new diversification trend on land with little agricultural value.”

 

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