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Dog mess pilot is making owners clean up their act

Malvern Editorial 6th Jun, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

DOG POO left behind by irresponsible owners has become a major concern for one Malvern community but residents in another may have found the solution.

People living in Poolbrook have complained about mess littering the pavements, grass verges as well as the playing fields.

Martin Lawrence, neighbourhood watch coordinator for the area, called for more dog poo bins to be installed and said few were aware of the hazards associated with the excrement which include causing possible blindness to children as well as still births in sheep.

Residents have also expressed concerns about the inconvenience it causes to pedestrians.

Di Farley from Brook Farm Drive said: “It just annoys me. If you are an animal lover you should clean up after your dog but when you go for a walk you have to sidestep mess everywhere. It isn’t fair.

“There are a lot of old folks and children who can’t avoid it. But we need more bins because at the moment you have to put mess in bags and take it with you.”

But while one community is lamenting the problem another has come up with a successful solution to dramatically reduce the amount of mess left behind.

Since February West Malvern Parish Council has run a pilot project to spray poo orange in the playing fields and woodland near Old Hollow Road in a bid to send a message to irresponsible owners.

Now at any given time there are less than 20 ‘incidents’ in the area compared to more than 100 when the project started.

The issue even sparked a Facebook campaign called ‘Malvern dog owners – CLEAN IT UP’ which has been liked by dozens of residents.

Parish Coun Sarah Rouse, who has led the scheme, said: “It has been a resounding success, with dog poo down 80 per cent. Residents have mostly been supportive but it seems we have a few dog walkers who are resisting the clean up who we would like to join in.

“It has really worked well and I would suggest any parish or area having the same problem to try it out.”

She said the campaign has also engaged local children with school pupils designing posters.

“When we started the woods were awash with poo and it was glowing orange. But now it is a far nicer place for kids to play.” Coun Rouse added.

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