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Pupils' posters tackle dog poop problem

7 December 2016

Youngsters at an Ulverston primary school are really getting the message across about the impact of dog fouling.

Children at Church Walk CE School have been designing posters to put up in the area around the school to encourage dog walkers to make sure they pick up after their pets.

The school has worked with our street scene team, Ulverston Town Council and local PCSO Izzy Roberts on a competition to come up with a poster to get the anti-fouling message across.

Four winning designs have been selected that will now be made up into posters to be put up around Church Walk.

Overall winner Tara Pearson came up with a poster that encourages dog walkers to make the world a better place by ‘scooping the poop’.

Runners-up in the competition were Charlie Macleod and Jessica Bailey, while Grace Smith won a special prize.

All received a certificate and book tokens, donated by the town council, which were presented at an assembly at the school on Wednesday (7 December) by Ulverston’s Mayor, Councillor Mark Wilson.

Tara, age 8, said: “I’m so happy I won and grateful for my prize. I hope everyone who has a dog remembers to clean up after them.”

Councillor Wilson commented: “I’d like to thank all the partners involved in this project and most importantly the children on creating some great designs, choosing a winner was a very tough decision.

“This sends a clear message to those who continue to not clear up after their dogs – we will not tolerate dog fouling and we are working together to remedy this problem.”

Town councillor for the Ulverston North ward Caroline Tennyson approached us with concerns about the amount of dog fouling in the area.

Our officers responded with increased patrols on streets with reported problems and discussed the idea of involving the school in a project to raise awareness of the issue.

They also visited the school with some dogs from the council’s kennelling contractor to talk about responsible dog ownership.

Our Enforcement Officer Sue Scott explained: “It’s not possible to have enforcement officers patrolling all areas all the time and we can only issue fines to owners that fail to pick up after their dogs if we catch them ‘in the act’.

“We therefore work with police PCSOs and target our enforcement activities on areas that are reported to us as having problems and we rely on the public’s help to let us know where there are issues.

“As part of that we also work on awareness raising activities, as evidence shows that educating people about the impacts of dog fouling and making it socially unacceptable is very effective in reducing the problem.

“Initiatives like this, working with local schools, is great – if these posters make people stop and think because the message is from a child’s perspective it is a very powerful way to remind people to pick up after their dogs.

“While we recognise that there will still be problems in some areas, evidence suggests this approach and the introduction of new dog control orders, which cover public open spaces including childrens’ play areas, sports pitches, cemeteries and promenades, are having a positive impact and the message about dog fouling seems to be getting through.

“Figures show that reports about dog fouling across the district were at a five year low in 2014/15.’’

Councillor Tennyson said: “When I initially started my role as town councillor many residents raised the issue of dog fouling.

“Working together with partner agencies shows that we are committed to solving this problem. I hope the initiative will increase awareness and lead to decreased instances of dog fouling.

“I would like to thank Church Walk School for the support they’ve given and congratulate the children on creating some fantastic designs.”

Church Walk School headteacher Susan Davies added: “We are delighted to be supporting this project as many of the children have stepped in dog mess on their way to school.

"We will hopefully see less dog fouling in the area as the posters will be there to remind dog walkers to clean up the mess their dog has made."