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Last Updated: Monday, 19 July, 2004, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Dog mess 'hitting conservation'
Crantock beach
The National Trust owns the car park and access to Crantock
The National Trust is to launch a campaign this summer to tackle the problem of dog mess at a Cornish beach.

The trust says high levels of dog waste are damaging the beaches at Crantock near Newquay.

On many beaches there are specially adapted plants which thrive on sand and low nutrient soil.

But excessive dog faeces is fertilising some areas, and encouraging the growth of nettles and brambles, crowding out protected plants.

Responsible owners

The trust says the growth in the dog population and seasonal bans at many of the county's beaches has increased the number of dog owners using its beaches to exercise their animals.

And the disposal of dog waste at Crantock beach is proving a particular problem, despite a skip being provided.

In one week in October 2003, over 70 kilograms of bagged dog faeces was removed from the car park, which is owned by the trust.

Leaflets are to be distributed locally and given to dog owners visiting the car parks. Posters from Cornwall County Council's Yuk! Campaign will also be put up at strategic sites.

Rob Wilson, National Trust Area Warden said: "Most dog owners are responsible and tidy up after their dogs, but there are still a minority who don't.

"I urge all dog owners to take dog waste home, or put it in a skip or dog waste bin, where provided, which will ensure that beach users can enjoy their visit in a safe environment and that special habitats remain unharmed."

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