Rushden dog walker told not to clear up other animals’ mess

The village green in Keats Way, Rushden
The village green in Keats Way, Rushden
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A dog walker is calling for ‘common sense’ after being told to stop his efforts to clear up when other owners fail to do so.

Mick Bridgstock has been walking his dog on the village green in Keats Way, Rushden, for 14 years.

He often has a spade with him and throws any dog mess on the green into the long grass nearby so it’s out of the way of where people walk.

But Mr Bridgstock received a letter from East Northamptonshire Council saying that it had recently been alleged he had been allowing his dog to foul there and not cleaning it up afterwards.

He was told he could be fined up to £1,000 if this was true and he may be subject to monitoring as part of the investigation into this complaint.

Mr Bridgstock said: “They have stopped me clearing up this mess, it’s sheer bloody-mindedness.

“We have lived here for 14 years, in all that time I have had a dog and walked it on the green and thrown the poos into the brambles in the hedge.”

Mr Bridgstock fears that the council asking him to stop clearing up in the way he does will only lead to an increase in mess on the green, which does have a bin for dog waste.

A spokesman for the council, which has a dog warden service to promote responsible dog ownership and enforce dog control order legislation where necessary, said: “Our dog warden has been made aware that a well-meaning resident has been removing dog poo from the green and putting it into the hedgerows.

“However, this does not resolve the problem and so we have advised this resident to stop doing this.

“The warden has explained that we need to stop dog owners from failing to pick up the poo in the first place and that by placing the poo in the hedge, it doesn’t rot away and actually creates a very unpleasant smell.”

Mr Bridgstock said: “This is the law, you can’t put the poos in the long grass. I shall put mine in the bin, but it is going to become a problem because of the others.

“I was quite happy to do the public spirited bit and throw it in the long grass, but I am angry about them stopping me doing it.”

He feels it would be better to move it rather than leave it there, and added: “Let’s apply some common sense to this.”

The council spokesman said they will continue to patrol this particular route in a bid to educate owners about picking up after their dogs and to issue fines to those who fail to do so.

They also said a dog bin review is under way and this location will be included as part of that.

Any dog mess problems can be reported at www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/dogs or by calling 01832 742068.