Pooches delight as new dog-friendly playground opens at Collier Row pub
- Credit: Jess Sawyer
A new playground for pooches has opened at a pub in Collier Row.
The Bell and Gate pub opened the new dog-friendly space - which has sparked clamour online - on Sunday (July 25).
Landlord Mick Harold told the Recorder: "It started to come together when we shut down last summer.
"The back of the garden had never been used. We’d had a few ideas of how best to use it, and then I thought: ‘Let’s just fence it off!”
The brainchild of both Mick and his wife Melanie, he admits they've both been surprised "by how many people have responded positively to it”.
Once set on the idea of a doggy playground, the pair set about preparing the space.
Mick explains that one local kindly gave them some fencing to use, after which they got "bits and bobs" from Poundland to start padding the playground out.
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Following that, a lady who owns a farm also donated a range of suitable equipment to use.
This generosity, combined with hard work behind the scenes, allowed the playground to open last weekend.
One of those to visit on the opening day was Jess Sawyer, owner of two-year-old rescue dog Bear.
"She loved it! Honestly, it’s such a nice change to have a dog-friendly place to go," said Jess.
Amused that she couldn't take "the best photos" because Bear was constantly moving, Jess will definitely be back at the pub she describes as "the most dog-friendly around".
Mick has also been approached by two local dog behaviourists who are interested in using the space to run training sessions.
He's certainly open to this, and hopes the playground becomes a space where "dogs can socialise" - particularly as many people invested in new pets during lockdown.
Mick, who has run the pub for eight-and-a-half years and recently extended his lease, is excited to see even more faces "when the weather gets a bit better".
The doggy playground will be open from 12pm everyday, with all welcome.
READ MORE: Seven dog-friendly parks in Romford