A Royal Horticultural Society trial to allow dogs into its prestigious gardens at Wisley, near Woking in Surrey, has caused a social media row among its members.
The RHS plans to hold a special ‘Walkies at Wisley’ trial evening on 23 August from 6-8pm.
The organisation said on its RHS Wisley Facebook page: “We know that many of our visitors are dog lovers, so have decided to introduce a trial opening for your four legged-friends.
“If you and the pooch would like to come along to this exclusive evening, we have a couple of points to note. Firstly, dogs must be kept on leads at all times, and secondly, please clear up after your dog.
“The evening is free to RHS Members. Non-members can gain discounted entry at £7 per adult, £5 per child. Dogs go free!”
But the special event brought more than 250 comments on the Facebook page with many posters threatening to cancel their RHS membership if more events like this one were introduced to the organisation's gardens throughout the country.
To give a balance to the argument we’ve picked out three posters who hate the idea and three who love it.
Helen Mabbott: We are very disappointed to hear this and will also give up my membership if dogs are allowed to visit. Even if poo is picked up it still leaves a trace, dog wee cannot be cleaned up. Small children enjoy rolling in the grass and crawling in relative safety which will cease if dogs are allowed. I don’t want to trip over leads or have dogs coming up to me or shaking off water from puddles near me, or listen to barking. I expect it at other locations where dogs are welcome but I purposely go to Wisley for the safety and security including no dogs. There are a million places to take dogs, not Wisley.
Pauline Bronger: Very disappointing news. Will not renew my membership if it becomes a permanent fixture. There are ranges, woods and parks a plenty. Don't spoil the tranquillity, and natural habitat with the smell of dog urine!
You can sit down anywhere at Wisley in the knowledge that you are not going to sit on anything you shouldn't, or sit and lean on a tree without it smelling like a dog toilet. Definitely a bad a idea. It will be kiddies scooters next!!
Clauds Amiga: Are you kidding???? This is a terrible idea I’m really disappointed. There are lots of places to walk dogs not somewhere like Wisley! I was just saying the other day it’s one of places I know I can visit with the kids and not worry about dog poo and the lazy owners that do not pick it up!!! Ridiculous...
Kayla Moth: To all those moaning about allowing dogs inside - I bet many of the dogs will be better behaved than some of your screaming children that I've witnessed in the gardens, trampling all over the flowers and the parents not caring. At least dogs will be on a lead!
Pauline Warner: Some of these comments from people threatening not to renew their membership are hilarious...how far up ones own behind do you need to be to think that that will make any difference......opening the gardens once or twice a month on a regular basis will probably bring in more subscriptions from dog owners than the ones that leave.
Denise Geoghegan: Unbelievable comments against dogs on here. Have you seen what humans have done to their environment filth and waste ??? Dogs will be on a lead. Why shouldn't dogs and their owners have a chance to enjoy this lovely place ?? If people want to cancel membership.. go ahead....there will be far more joining because people can take their dogs who are an integral part of a family and the British way of life.
You can read all the comments by clicking here