Swanage Town Council says members of its operations team have been hit by flying dog poo on at least 20 occasions in the last seven months, when strimming and cutting grass.
The team works closely with local litter picking volunteer groups, Swanage Landers and Beach Buddies, who have also noticed an increase in the amount of dog poo, bagged and un-bagged, on the promenade, pavements and beach.
A dog poo bin at King George’s Playing Fields in the centre of Swanage
Temporary signage in ‘hotspot’ areas
The town council is now looking at deploying temporary signage in ‘hotspot’ areas to remind people to pick up after their pets.
Swanage Town Council operations manager, Gail Percivial said:
“Over the past year, Swanage has experienced a steep increase in the amount of dog poo on its footpaths and green spaces.
“Dog owners who fail to pick up after their pets may not be aware of the significant impact this has on the work of the town council’s grounds maintenance team when they are strimming and cutting grass.
“Since the end of July 2021, there have been more than 20 occasions where team members have hit dog poo with machinery and have had to stop work to shower, wash, change their clothing, and clean down their equipment.
“Not only is this extremely unpleasant, it is also a health hazard due to the risk of toxocariasis.”
Dog poo bin near Broad Road car park in Swanage
More than 60 waste bins in Swanage
Swanage Town Council provides more than 60 waste bins in Swanage, both specific dog bins and general use bins where bagged dog poo can be disposed of.
This is in addition to the waste bins provided by Dorset Council. However, despite the number of bins, the town council says there have been many occasions where dog poo has been found within a few metres of a bin.
Cutting back on Swanage Downs
“It’s very disheartening when this happens”
Assistant grounds maintenance supervisor, Steve Diffey said:
“It’s horrible for the lads when they hit dog poo when strimming. We check areas before we start working but you do sometimes miss it.
“It’s very disheartening when this happens, as we are all trying our best to do a good job and keep Swanage clean and tidy for everyone.”
Fixed penalty notice of £100
On 1st January 2021 Dorset Council introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which says that owners are to pick up their dog’s poo in all public spaces and dispose of it appropriately.
There is a fixed penalty notice of £100 for failure to comply with the order.
A member of the Swanage Town Council operation team at work in Days Park in Swanage
Dorset Dogs promotes responsible dog ownership and the positive management of dogs in the town, coast and countryside and has published a Doggy Do Code.