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Wood closed after allegations of dog attacks and sexual activity to reopen

By Jamie Brassington | Dudley | News | Published:

A Black Country wood which was shut amid reports of dog attacks, sexual activity and drug dealing, will reopen next month.

Uffmoor Park

Uffmoor Wood was shut to the public in May for safety reasons after people complained about the anti-social behaviour.

But the trust which runs the park has announced it will reopen next month – with an exact date to be announced closer to the time.

The move has been welcomed by ward councillors, who said they had been told of deer being attacked there by dogs.

Gareth Hopkins, operations manager for the Woodland Trust which runs the park, said: “Ever since the closure, we have worked hard to tackle the issues at Uffmoor Wood, and make plans for its eventual reopening.

"Although it’s been a lengthy process, we are planning to re-open the wood in November – with the official date to be announced closer to the time.

"We’re very grateful for people’s support and patience during this period."

The park, near Halesowen, was shut by the trust because bosses deemed it unsafe for the public to go into.

The Woodland Trust said it is the first time it closed a woodland in the UK.

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The action was described as a ‘last resort’ after a spate of problems that included dog fouling and off-road bikes, with complaints coming in weekly.

The trust said that some of the worst offences included dogs being attacked by other pets and sheep killed on neighbouring land.

Staff reported they were verbally abused and knocked over by dogs and received complaints about groups of people meeting for sex.

Hayley Green and Cradley South ward councillor Jeff Hill said: "I am pleased to see the park reopen.

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"I hope there will be no more anti-social-behaviour.

"Technically the park is on the border in Worcestershire, it is just on the edge.

"I know people from Hayley Green do walk their dogs over there and have missed it being open.

"I have heard bits and pieces about anti-social-behaviour. I gathered the park was used as a meeting place.

"There was also some cases where wild deer were attacked by dogs off the lead. That was what I was told by someone who had worked there."

A statement on the Woodland Trust website said: "Due to ongoing complaints from visitors about attacks and intimidation by out-of-control dogs, persistent dog fouling and inappropriate use of the car park, this wood will be closed to all members of the public until further notice.

"This wood is an important urban friend just a mile outside of Halesowen. The site is mostly planted ancient woodland surrounded by pasture, but easily accessed thanks to a public footpath network and a web of rides including three waymarked routes."

Uffmoor Wood is located off Uffmoor Lane, off Manor Way in Halesowen.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Reporter covering Dudley, Sandwell and Wyre Forest. Also dabble in sport. Call me on 01384353205 or email jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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