Glenrock State Conservation Area no place for a dog

NSW National Parks and Wildlife (NPWS) is urging dog owners in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie to leave their pets at home when visiting Glenrock State Conservation Area and other local national parks.

Leggy Point loop walking track, Glenrock State Conservation Area

NPWS Lower Hunter Area Manager Mitch Carter said while it’s understandable that dog owners want to spend time out in nature with their furry friends, there are some good reasons why you can’t bring dogs into NSW national parks.

“Our national parks and state conservation areas are safe refuges for native Australian animals and plants,” said Mr Carter.

“Even the best-behaved dogs can unintentionally crush sensitive plants, bird’s nests and small animals, and dog waste can be a nasty pollutant in waterways.

“Native animals like wallabies, possums, owls and lizards can also pick up on your dog’s scent in the area and think it’s a predator. This can force them away from places where they normally access food and shelter, and in some sad cases, even abandon their young.

“National parks are also places that many visitors seek out in order to avoid interactions with domestic dogs they feel uncomfortable or unsafe around.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve experienced a significant increase in park visitors. We have also observed and received feedback from the public about the number of dogs in Glenrock State Conservation Area, particularly on Dudley Beach and Burwood Beach.

“We understand Glenrock is a beautiful and convenient place to get out of the house and have a relaxing walk, but it’s not the right place for your dog.

“At this stage, we’ve issued a number of warnings, however we will begin to issue fines to people with dogs in Glenrock State Conservation Area and other national parks in the area.

“The minimum penalty for having a dog in these areas is $300,” said Mr Carter.

Visitors to the Glenrock State Conservation Area can report illegal activities to the Lower Hunter NPWS Area on (02) 4946 4100 or by emailing npws.lowerhunter@environment.nsw.gov.au

People keen to enjoy nature with their dogs are encouraged to visit their local dog-friendly parks and reserves or to take a trip to a NSW State Forest. Visit your local council’s website or the Forestry Corporation website for details.