While I agree with a lot of the points Melissa Harrison makes (Opinion, June 2018), I disagree that “banning dogs from nature reserves is missing the point”. Sometimes the mere presence of a dog is worrying for wildlife on a reserve, as well as for some of the 74 per cent of the population who don’t own a dog and will be put off visiting reserves by the nuisance of uncontrolled dogs.
Melissa is clearly a responsible dog owner, but I would suggest she is in the minority. Most dogs are owned by irresponsible and untrained owners, who visit reserves out of necessity to exercise their dogs rather than being lovers of nature. Education and training for all pet owners should be the way forward, but reserves should be closed to dogs for now to protect our wildlife. Sharon Painter, Staffordshire