Although Castle Hill is in an alpine environment where dogs are allowed in the surrounding DOC land (Forest Park status allows dogs), the unique character of the village means we have no fences between houses. So whatever the friendly nature of your four legged character is, their nose will probably attract them to wonderful new smells coming from neighbouring properties.
Castle Hill is considered a ‘township’ and as such the SDC bylaw requiring Dogs to be on a lead in townships applies in Castle Hill. Even harmless dogs may appear intimidating to some people, particularly small children who haven’t had exposure to dogs, and whereas meeting a dog with it’s owner is a safe scenario, meeting one wandering about and unaccompanied is not the same, however friendly your dog is. If your dog is roaming free then it is also likely that you will not be aware of its faeces littering the reserves and others’ properties.
The bylaw Under proper control at all times, does not mean allowing it to be outside your house not on a leash whilst you are inside; if you are not with your dog, please pop them on a leash.
The bylaw does allow for the use of reserves for dogs (with their owner) to be exercised off a leash, when the reserves are not in use for sporting or other public events, and just like any other urban environment please remove faeces; it does not break down the same way as local natural vegetation.
Additionally the Village neighbours are working high country stations with sheep and cattle, and unfortunately lambs have, on occasion, been victims of dogs given too much freedom in the past.
We ask that you respect the complete environment up here and make it a respectful place for all – your pet included.
The local area is unfortunately a hive of activity when it comes to feral cats (and other pests such as mustelids, rats, mice and possums) but with years of trapping for many pest species, the Thomas Bush bird activity is higher than other areas around the Craigieburn range. The community would like to keep it that way and enhance it further. Be aware that there are active cat traps in and around the village to try to cull any feral cats (6 different individuals caught on camera in one spot in 5 days in the local bush). So no cat is welcome in the village at all.
Please also be aware that wasp control has been in place in the village for a number of years under the ‘Wasp Wipe Out’ programme, usually between February and April with supervised and controlled use of Vespex protein-based bait containing the pesticide fipronil. It is distributed through specific bait stations (yellow or orange core flutes) placed along tracks on trees approximately 1.5 metres above the ground. The bait is dyed blue/green and is in the form of a paste. Please help us and leave bait stations alone.