Personal trainers and dog walkers to be charged to use Bristol parks

Personal trainers and professional dog walkers will have to pay a fee to use Bristol’s parks under a new licensing system being introduced by the council.

The system - designed to regulate activities in the city’s green spaces - will generate an income stream to pay for their upkeep.

Yoga teachers, fitness trainers, dance teachers, walking clubs, dog walking businesses and balloonists are among those required to pay for an annual licence.

Bristol City Council said it is in the process of issuing licences to groups who use its parks, but is aware there may be more groups it does not know about.

Commercial operators - including yoga teachers, balloonists and fitness instructors - will have to pay (pictured: Queen Square).

Jon James, head of service for natural and marine environment, said: “As a landowner, we have a duty to effectively regulate what’s happening on our site.

“If you’re a commercial operator then there’s going to be a fee.

“If you’re non-commercial then we need to see what we can do. There might just be a nominal charge for a licence to cover any administration costs.”

The licensing scheme runs alongside the council’s Future Parks programme, which aims to find ways to commercialise the city’s green spaces to shore up the parks department’s scarce budget after a decade of austerity.