PLANS have been submitted to expand a commercial dog walking field to cater for soaring demand in one of England’s most rural districts, despite it having 1,546 footpaths and bridleways.

The venture at Moor Lane, Broughton, in Ryedale is one of a growing number of dog walking fields offering dog owners the space to let their dogs exercise off the lead, allowing users the sole use of the field for their booked slot.

Farmers say converting agricultural fields for pets’ exercise is a profitable way to diversify as dog owners are prepared to pay about £5 for half an hour’s use of a field for up to three dogs.

While the North York Moors National Park and Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are nearby, the application to Ryedale District Council states demand for dog walking and exercise areas has increased exponentially in recent years, partly due to large-scale housing developments.

The application states while social consciousness is encouraging potential owners to re-home dogs, the designated field would ensure dogs with behavioural issues are not put into situations involving children and other animals.