A SECURE dog park is opening up in Westhoughton today - and it has proven so popular its first week is nearly fully booked up.

Dog walkers can book the park for an hour at a time. It features RSPCA-approved agility equipment so dogs can stay fit and have fun.

The two-acre plot is surrounded by secure fencing, allowing dogs to run free without the risk of escape or being taken by thieves.

The Westhoughton Dog Park is the brainchild of husband and wife team Donny and Dawn Janciauskas, who operate a stables and showjumper business.

Their usual work of buying and selling horses from Europe had to be put on hold due to lockdown.

One day Dawn came across a woman walking her German pointer and the dog’s boots led to a talking point.

Dawn noticed the dog was on a long bungee lead as the woman said she wasn’t confident at letting her dog run free.

Riley who inspired the park

Riley who inspired the park

Realising she could put their land to use, the idea of the dog park was born.

Dawn said: “An enclosed area where dogs can run free is something that is missing in the area.

“Lots of owners are worried about dog thefts, while I know many women feel uncomfortable walking their dogs alone.

“So my husband and I came up with the idea of creating the park. The kids came on board and helped us set it all up.

“We’re got the agility equipment and we’ve created a shelter for the owners to stand under if it rains.

Riley who inspired the park tries it out

Riley who inspired the park tries it out

“Owners can book a slot online, they then receive a code to unlock the gate, and the parking is fully secure too.

“For social distancing reasons it's one household at a time.

“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the response so far, it’s clearly very popular.

“I think we may even expand to a second field so we can accommodate more dogwalkers.”

To book visit westhougtondogpark.co.uk.

It costs £10 for up to two dogs, with additional dogs £3 each.