DOG owners across Barnwood are being encouraged to keep their dogs on leads so that they do not scare the wildlife.
The Friends of Barnwood Arboretum do not want to ban dogs from the area but are asking that they are kept on leads at all times.
Ron Keasley, chairman of the group, said: “The issue is a concern to us because we have sheep in the arboretum, which are pregnant. If the dogs chase them and the sheep are hurt, it could result in abortion.
“Owners feel it is safer to let them off leads because this is a fenced area.
“My concern grew when some dogs got into our garden, next to the arboretum and killed two of our rabbits.”
The sheep which are on loan to the Friends of the Arboretum include rare breeds of Jacobs and Cotswold.
Ron added: “A farm has loaned them to us, so we could use them for grazing in the area.”
The friends are also urging dog owners to tidy up after dogs.
Ron said: “You see some owners do not carry bags and therefore do not pick up the mess left.
“Safety is paramount here, because it is known that something in dog poo can blind people and we have children here.
“There is no excuse for dog owners.
“You see dogs jumping around in the mud and they can sometimes scare little children.
“I have approached owners in the past and some put their dogs on leads straight away and clean up the mess.
“This is a fabulous facility and we want to keep it this way.
“We won a Green flag for 2013/2014, so we want to maintain the standard.”
A volunteer from the group does a daily clear up of dog mess, while all the volunteers meet on a monthly basis to maintain the area.
Resident Barry Hazard said: “I use the arboretum in the summer months and sometimes I see mess leftover.
“There is a lot of dog poo in the alleyway here opposite the church.
“My grandchildren really like it here and enjoy feeding the ducks.”