Dog mess is the most unacceptable and offensive type of litter on our streets and in reality, there shouldn’t be a problem – you own a dog, it eats, it poos, you clean it up. Failing to do so is anti-social, illegal on public land and can spread disease, including toxocariasis. Fed up residents of Lace Hill in Buckingham have decided to tackle the persistent issue of dog fouling on the estate and surrounding green areas by setting up a group of volunteers to lead a campaign. They hope to change the small minority of irresponsible dog owner’s ways for the better.
The six-week campaign is underway and it is being supported by Buckingham Town Council who operate and maintain the Lace Hill Sport & Community Centre and Buckingham United FC who maintain the Lace Hill Sports Pitches. The campaign has been organised by the Lace Hill Residents Association.
‘Cllr Ruth Newell, Chair of Buckingham Town Council’s Environment Committee said it is disappointing in this day and age that any dog owners need reminding to clear up after their dog as it is a real health hazard, and dogs should not be exercised on playing fields. We would however like to take this opportunity to thank the residents and the volunteers of Lace Hill for their efforts and for keeping our green spaces safer for the community to enjoy. This is a great way to tackle the problem at a local level and would support other local neighbourhoods in doing something similar’.
In the first two weeks’ volunteers picked up over 900 deposits, and spent a staggering 135 hours doing so. The objective of the big clean-up was to get everyone regularly using the area to appreciate the difference and to join in the commitment to keep it looking good. Volunteers continue to patrol designated areas daily but have stopped picking up the dog mess. Instead, they are now using temporary spray paint to highlight new deposits and will be closely monitoring the situation. The idea of using spray paint is to show that new deposits have been noticed so owners get the message that it is disgusting. Drawing attention to the problem can make owners realise they need to be accountable for their actions. However, the Lace Hill Residents Association would like to recognise that it is a small minority of irresponsible dog owners causing the problem. Many more responsible dog owners do their duty, keep our green spaces safer and continue to make Lace Hill a nice place to live.