DOG walkers, football players and parents have clashed head on over the use of a recreation ground in a row that has split a community.

New moves to stop dogs being walked on the ground at Brompton, near Northallerton from the beginning of December are being challenged amid concern that a ban cannot be legally enforced. Dog walkers say they have not been consulted, they are being penalised because of people who do not clean up after their dogs and the ban has split the village.

Brompton Juniors Football club insist there have been multiple problems over a long time, with dogs urinating on equipment, running amongst children whilst they are playing causing fear and anxiety, and piles of potentially toxic dog faeces left on the field with and although they have liaised with the dog warden there has been no improvement.

A spokesperson for the football club said they have proposed an alternative area where dogs are currently banned which could be used. They added: "Other local football and sports clubs have long since banned dogs for the safety and well-being of members. Brompton Juniors Football Club is only asking for a space to provide a safe, fun and friendly environment for children from three years to adults to socialise and stay healthy."

Dog walker and parish councillor Steve O’Sullivan said: "This is a village facility not just a football field. The football club use it for approximately ten to 15 hours a week. As a result of the ban, which in my opinion cannot be enforced, people will no longer be able to use the field for legitimate recreational activities.

"The only people this disadvantages are the responsible dog owners who not only clear up after their own dogs but pick up after other dogs. There has been absolutely no consultation with the dog walking community and has left many people feeling very angry. All this has done is create a divide in the village."

Brompton Recreation Group is responsible for operating the area, trustees say they want to stop dogs using the field because of the problems but it is not necessarily a ban because of the difficulties in enforcement. Trustee Barbara Slater said:"It has been an ongoing issue for a very long time. We have put up 25 signs asking dog owners to clean up, but there are still problems. It is not fair for parents to have to clean up and worry about their children."