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Where can I exercise my dog?

Dog exercise areas / Dog parks

There are many places in the Ashburton district where you can exercise your dog. Dogs can exercise on Council owned reserves unless specified otherwise.

There are specifically designated areas where dogs can exercise off the leash. However, they must be under the direct control of their owners. This means your dog must respond to your commands at all times.

These areas are:

  • Ashburton Dog Exercise Park by Ashburton River (North end of bridge accessible​ via the end of William Street)
  • Pioneer Park
  • Digby Park
  • Patching Street Reserve (excluding children's play area)
  • Smallbone Drive Reserve
  • Devon Park (excluding children's play area)
  • Argyle Park (dogs must be kept off sports fields and play equipment at all times and can only be exercised in the specified areas – view these areas here)
  • Company Road Exercise Area
  • “The Green” - in Tinwald adjacent to the main south railway line South of the Ashburton River Bridge
  • George Glassey Park (excluding children's play area)
  • Methven Dog Park 

Click here to view our dog exercise area and prohibited area maps.

Where dogs are prohibited

In some areas, dogs are strictly prohibited. These areas are set out in our Dog Control Bylaw:

  • All boat ramps and slipways
  • All cemeteries
  • All playing surfaces of public sports grounds (including Argyle Park refer to map)
  • Within one metre of any playground, including skate parks and paddling pool areas
  • Any public Council owned building
  • Ashton Beach (as specified in maps)
  • Lake Camp reserve area
  • Lake Clearwater Hut area
  • Lake Clearwater shores
  • Lake Heron shores
  • Maori Lakes shores

For further information regarding dog access on public conservation land managed by the Department of Conservation, please contact the Department of Conservation directly. You can view their website here.

Click here to view our dog exercise area and prohibited area maps.

Respect and enjoy our dog exercise areas

Be a responsible dog owner in dog exercise areas:

  • Do not allow your dog to attack or annoy other dogs and people
  • All dogs need to be able to understand and appropriately respond to simple commands if they are to be in the off-leash exercise area
  • Always collect and hygienically dispose/remove of your dog's fouling
  • Female dogs in season are not allowed in public places
  • Dogs are prohibited from all Council  children's playgrounds

The area is found at the end of Range Street, next to the Ashburton Resource Recovery Park​, and is not a dedicated dog park. Access is only available when conditions are suitable.​

This area is still managed as a closed landfill. The maintenance of the area follows the requirements of the resource consent for the post closure management of the old landfill.

The old landfill is covered and capped with clay to protect the underlying material from the effects of weathering and the potential for surface water to percolate its way through the old landfill and make its way into the ground beneath.

Dogs are allowed to use the area because it helps deter rabbits from becoming established on the clay cap. Left uncontrolled rabbits can cause significant damage to a capped landfill.

Activity on the area is kept to a minimum, thus undertaking periodic maintenance as required. The area is kept in grass so woody plants, shrubs, and trees do not become established and their roots likewise cause damage to the clay cap.

Dog owners are welcome to use the area and are advised to be self-contained in their provision of dog welfare whilst onsite.

Poop bags dispensers are located at all district exercise areas. If your dog fouls in a public place or on someone else's property, you are required to remove and dispose of it in a way that is suitably wrapped to prevent fouling of any public litter bin.

Owners that fail to do this are liable to receive a $300 infringement under Council's Dog Control Bylaw.