Dog poo… it’s not a pleasant subject (which is why I’ve waited until after tea time to post this) but it’s one that needs to be discussed.
Dog foul is one of the most complained about environmental issues to local authorities. We hate dog poo. It can cause blindness in children. It’s smelly. It’s awful. Yet why is there so much about?!
It’s common knowledge that it’s a legal requirement to pick up your dogs waste along the pavements. But its the dog foul off the beaten track that I want to discuss.
Recently I was walking through a forest when I came across this sign:
Because of the particular legislation covering dog fouling within this area the local authority cannot enforce dog fouling laws on the forestry commission land. Therefore to try to reduce some of the dog fouling on the paths the forestry commission ask that you flick the foul with a stick. It’s sort of a best-situation-compromise if you will.
But just because you don’t HAVE to do something doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t!
Children love to get off the beaten path, and are often encouraged to do so! It’s so fun to dodge through the trees, jump over logs and charge around through the wild woodland. Playing hide and seek, climbing trees and building a shelter. Some of the organisations that provide outdoor events and activities purposefully take groups off the path to avoid the masses of walkers.
But what is off the path? Dog foul! Dog foul that is being flicked and left there.
Pick up. Just pick up. Why would you not?! You own a dog. Part of dog ownerships is cleaning up after their poo. Don’t want to pick up? Don’t get a dog. It’s simple.
I can see no difference to picking up on a pavement to picking up in a woodland.
Your dog should be under your control and within sight, no matter where you are, so if your excuse is that your dog has run off into the bushes and therefore you didn’t see them go, well that’s not acceptable. They should be within sight.
Excuse me for ranting, I don’t wish for this blog to be an aggressive, angry post. Instead I intend for it to be a plea to all dog owners. Please think about taking that little bit of extra effort and picking up anywhere.
It’s not just children who are at risk. Photographers will often explore into the wilderness to capture shots and I know of some dog photographers who use Delamere Forest as a photography spot. They’ll be on their hands and knees, or even lying on their bellies, amongst the leaves and twigs to get that perfect shot of someone’s loving companion.
Can you image what it would be like for them to stand up and find out they were lying in poo?!
And then of course there are the hard working staff and volunteers who manage these beautiful locations for us. They will be strimming, pruning and chopping to keep these sites at their best for the benefit of us. But while they’re doing their job they will be getting up close and personal with dog foul. Yuck!
My final word is that it’s not just forestry land… footpaths through farmers fields, mountain tracks, beaches, etc! Wherever you are. Even if there is no one around or no bin for miles. Please pick up.
Oh and once you have picked up take your blummin bag with you! Don’t chuck it in a hedge or leave it hanging from a tree. Check out Dicky Bags for the best solution for taking your foul with you without having to carry it in a bag or cope with the smell. They’re pricey but I’ve had mine for years and I reckon it’s gonna last for years more so it’s a worthwhile investment.
There is no reason not to pick up.
So wherever you are, please please please scoop your poop.