Thursday, 21 September 2017

Green ban warning to dog walkers

DOGS could be banned from Woodcote village green unless their owners clean up after them.

DOGS could be banned from Woodcote village green unless their owners clean up after them.

The parish council, which owns the land, says it has received numerous complaints from members of the public about fouling.

On one occasion, volunteers had to pick up 17 piles of mess before a Saturday football match could take place.

The council says signs warning dog walkers of an £80 fine if they allow their dog to foul the green have been removed.

It insists the problem “cannot remain unresolved” and so is considering the ban.

Vice-chairman Geoffrey Botting said most of the people who had complained were parents.

He said: “We have discussed the situation and find it very difficult to know what to do. We have every sympathy with the village’s dog owners as we believe the majority of them behave responsibly but it seems a minority do not.

“Sadly, it does not take that many neglectful owners to mess the ground up.

“Dogs and their owners are a valuable part of village life but no one wants their children to become ill or their local teams to be playing in that kind of mess.

“We could ban dogs from the green but that would be rather contrary to the spirit of the village. We are therefore hoping that the publicity from our warning will be enough to get the message across. We are trusting in people’s essential good nature — for the moment.”

Liz Newland-Smith, the manager of Woodcote Pre-School, which is based at the village hall on the green, said she and her staff regularly had to clear up the grass.

She said: “Because owners often let their dogs off the lead, I don’t think they always realise when their dogs are leaving a mess.

“It isn’t very pleasant but we have to pick it up because that area has to be safe for the children.”

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