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Tuesday, June 15, 1999 Published at 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK


Council flags up dog mess problem

Wrexham council is keen to clean up its parks of dog mess

A north Wales council has taken a novel approach to highlight dog mess in parks by putting out little red flags to mark unwelcome deposits.

Wrexham County Borough Council discovered dog fouling was one of its top complaints, with an estimated 300 members of the public calling for action last year.

The council's publicity exercise on Tuesday saw environmental health officials placing more than 100 flags by dog mess in a local park, as part of Environment Week.

Dog owners also took part in a free prize draw to win pet food and received free poop scoopers. A service to have your dog weighed was also provided by the council.

Blind dog owner Joyce Dudley walks in the park with her guide dog Grant and a friend, who helps clean up after the animal.

In recognition of her efforts, Mrs Dudley was presented with a certificate, in braille, by Wrexham council.

[ image: Dog owners awareness campaign]
Dog owners awareness campaign
"If someone like that can clean up, so can everyone else," said Marc Williams, a senior environmental health officer at Wrexham council.

Top complaint

"Dog fouling is up there at the top of our environmental complaints," he said.

The council has given out 25 fixed penalties for dog fouling since December 1997 and targeted problem areas with a discreet enforcement campaign.

"We also want to try to educate people as well," said Mr Williams. "What we have done today is place these brightly coloured flags in a park.

"We did not know how much dog mess was going to be out there and as the grass was cut a couple of days before, it was more difficult to find it. But we managed to illustrate the problem."

To aid the clean up, Wrexham council has a policy of allowing park bins to be used to dispose of dog mess, just so as long as it is safely wrapped in a bag.

Now Mr Williams and his team will visit other parks in Wrexham and the council will be busy assessing the success of its campaign throughout the year.

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