SHOCKED dog-walkers have called for the removal of a controversial cattle grid at Castle Meadows following the death of a pet dog.

The cattle grid was installed last week as a part of a trial looking at ways of improving access onto the Meadows as part of MCC’e active travel scheme.

Concerned residents are now calling for the removal of the cattle grid saying they have raised safety concerns since the beginning of the year.

Speaking with the Chronicle back in January, resident Liz Proctor said, “The first cattle grid is being installed next month.

“No regular user of the Meadow wants to see the cattle grids installed. They are a known danger to wildlife and to dogs.”

This is not the first time a local has expressed concerns against the cattle grids, as one Facebook user warned residents earlier this week. The resident said: "It's like an optical illusion and dogs or kids could just bound into it... Signs were near the gate but a dog or kid could enter from a different entry point and have gone there."

Now the worst fears of local dog owners have been brought into harsh reality as over the Bank Holiday weekend one walker took to social media to announce the passing of her beloved pet. 

In an upsetting turn of events, what was meant to be a relaxing daytime walk turned to tragedy as the woman’s pet dog died after falling into the cattle grid.

The seven-year-old Schnoodle (Schnauzer crossed with a Poodle) broke her neck and died, leaving her owner heartbroken.  

Cllr Laura Wright was at the scene, walking her own dog when the horrific incident occurred.  

She said, “I am deeply saddened by the tragic accident on Castle Meadows last Friday, which resulted in the death of a dog.  

“As a dog owner myself, my heart goes out to the woman who has lost a beloved pet in such a shocking way. 

“I regularly walk my own dog on Castle Meadows, and I understand how important the space is for local dog owners."

Castle Meadows has been at the centre of much debate in recent months as a result of the active travel plan, which was due to go before the Planning Committee on May, 2. 

However, following the tragedy, the proposals have now been put on hold. 

A spokesperson for MCC, said: “We are so sorry to hear about the tragic incident over the weekend. It gives reason to take a little more time before making a final decision on future access arrangements for the Castle Meadows in Abergavenny.  

“We will postpone an item scheduled for Planning Committee today which had been intended to consider this”. 

Cllr Wright expressed her support for the decision, stating: “I welcome the decision by MCC to postpone further discussion of the proposed active travel scheme on the site, which was due to go before Planning Committee this afternoon. This time to pause and reflect is essential.  

“While we need to ensure that the Meadows are as accessible as possible, this needs to be done in a way that is safe for everyone.  

“On Saturday morning, working alongside Abergavenny Town Councillor Gethin Jones and MCC Cabinet Member Sara Burch, I put temporary barriers in place to block off the cattle grid. I hope that this will prevent any more such accidents. These will remain in place until a more permanent solution can be found.” 

The devastating events sparked much upset amongst local resident. An online petition has been set up in response; calling for the removal of the cattle grids. As of May, 2, the petition has garnered 1,036 signatures. 

Cattle grid, Castle Meadows
Since the incident, a barrier has been placed around the grid. (Laura Wright)