Crackdown on dirty dog-owners in Barnstaple woodland
By tinap | Friday, March 08, 2013, 14:38
If you go down to the woods today, watch your step or you could tread in something foul!
North Devon Council's dog warden is stepping up patrols in Barnstaple's Yeo Valley Woodland, following reports of an increase in dogs' mess.
Executive Member for the Environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, said, "The woodland is a haven for wildlife and well used by dog walkers, nature lovers and active families. It's a real shame that a thoughtless few are ruining it for everyone. There are dog waste bins at the entrance to the woodland so there really is no excuse for not picking up after your pet."
Gerry Connell, Chairman of the Friends of Yeo Valley Community Woodland group, says: "Despite all the hard work put in to obtain a Green Flag Award for the woodland, it's sad to know that a few dog owners still can't be bothered to bag it and bin it. Even other dog owners have complained to me about the mess of others, especially after the council provided dog bins."
Local ward member, Councillor Lesley Brown, says: "The woodland is used by us all and it is laziness that some dog owners cannot walk the short distances to the dog bins. I urge all the culprits to think about it and help us keep this beautiful site a pleasure for everyone's enjoyment."
This latest crackdown follows initiatives in Ilfracombe and Combe Martin, which resulted in seven fixed penalty notices being issued.
Fixed penalties are set at £75, which are reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days. However, if a fine isn't paid, an owner can be taken to court and prosecuted, which can lead to a maximum fine of £1,000 plus costs.
To report a dog fouling offence, witnesses can phone 01271 388870, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call in to any of the council's offices. If possible, please leave your own name and address so that Council Officers can discuss the information you are able to provide and your concerns, as well as inform you of any action taken.