Cowells Lane Reserve in Ermington is a popular off-leash dog exercise area and is much loved by the community. It is approximately 15 hectares in size and includes creeks, a stormwater detention basin, a small playground, a Council-owned nursery, bushland, walking tracks and exercise stations.

Originally, dogs were only allowed off-leash in the central basin area, however in 2009, the off-leash area was expanded to include the whole of Cowells Lane Reserve.

Since the expansion, Cowells Lane Reserve has seen upgrades including the construction of a concrete circuit path, a playground upgrade, the addition of fitness stations and the upgrade of walking paths.

An increase in usage of the park over the years has led to biodiversity degradation, incidents with unleashed dogs and requests from the community to designate a fenced, safe dog off-leash area. In addition to this, the fencing around the children’s play equipment does not currently comply with the Companion Animals Act 1998 - Section 14, where dogs are prohibited from being within 10m of any children’s playing apparatus.

Council has reviewed the off leash area and feedback received during the March 2020 community consultation and has proposed to install a temporary fence to be trialed for six (6) months. The park will remain predominately as an off-leash area, whilst providing a clearly defined section of Cowells Lane Reserve as an on-leash area around the popular playground and parking area.

Our aim is to create a safer environment for all park user groups whilst ensuring that Cowells Lane Reserve remains one of Sydney’s best off-leash dog parks

Cowells Lane Reserve Temporary Fence Trial

Dog off leash area
Dog on leash area
Dog off leash area
Play equipment


Cowells Lane Reserve will remain one of the largest off-leash dog parks in Sydney.

Council is inviting feedback on the temporary fence over a 6 month period from 10 August 2020 to 9:00am on Monday 15 February 2021. Your feedback will be used to help decide on what actions are taken following the 6 month trial. Have your say by completing the short survey below:

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