Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council recognises that there are continuing problems with dog fouling in the towns. With the nights drawing in and the seasonal dog bans on the beaches lifting there is always an increase in dog fouling on the streets and along the beach compared to the summer months.
The Town Council is working with Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset to launch another campaign through the month of November, following on from the success of last year. The campaign will draw attention to the fact that dog fouling is completely unacceptable, whether it happens during the day or after dark.
The key messages will focus on ‘no matter the size of your dog, place or time of day, always pick up’ and #BagItBinIt. Judging what is socially and environmentally acceptable to do with your dog’s faeces can be a bit of minefield so Litter Free Coast and Sea have debunked some of the myths and simplified everything…
|Myth:||Did you know…|
|As long as it’s not on the path its ok so I just stick it and flick it if it’s on the path…||Life’s too short to always stick to paths…especially for adventurous kiddies! Dog poo on pram wheels and in shoes is not fun. Dog faeces can seriously impact on local farm animals which may be grazing in fields with public footpaths running through them. Bacteria contained in faeces can cause cattle to abort. Importantly neospora oocysts which is found in dog faeces can last on the ground for long periods of time so even if there isn’t cattle in the field until later in the year, the neospora could still affect them. Sadly, once a cow has been infected they will remain infected for life so all future calves they have are likely to abort.|
|‘It’s fine to leave it because it will just wash away when it next rains’.||“Away” actually means that it is likely to reach our local rivers and seas in this case. Dog faeces is very high in bacteria and local sea swimmers, paddleboarders and paddlers will not want to splash around with floaters that could make them very sick.|
|‘You can leave it on the beach – the tide will wash it “away”’.||See above – same logic applies|
|‘There is cow and sheep poo all over the countryside, what is the big deal about dog poo?’||Cows and sheep are herbivores so their poo is broken-down plant matter, a bit like compost whereas dogs’ diets contain processed meats and fish products. You wouldn’t want to spread dog poo on your allotment! Dog poo can contain a whole host of nasty bacteria including: Neospora GiardiaSalmonellaLeptospiraE. coliParvovirusRoundworm – which causes Toxocariasis infection Find out more about what these infectious critters could mean for you: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/toxocariasis/|
|‘Dog poo can only go in dog poo bins so when I can’t see a red bin, I prefer to toss it into the hedge to biodegrade rather than just carry the bag around with me’||You can put bagged dog mess in any bin – but if there is no bin in sight, it is your responsibility as a dog walker to take the package home with you for disposal. Dangling dog poos from hedgerows don’t biodegrade. They are unsightly, may be mistaken for food by foraging animals and can be eaten – posing choking risks to a whole host of unsuspecting animals. Just remember, any bin will do!|
The key messages will focus on ‘no matter the size of your dog, place or time of day, always pick up’ and #BagItBinIt.
In a bid to tackle this problem, we are asking for volunteers to become ‘Somerset Poo Fighters’ and to work in collaboration with the town council and Litter Free Coast and Sea to undertake ground stencilling & survey work within Burnham.
We are looking for volunteers to survey part of the Esplanade in Burnham, as well as the area from Pearce Drive to Coronantion Road in Highbridge. If you would like to get involved with this survey work, or if you would like to tell us where dog poo is a particular problem in Burnham, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also join the Somerset Poo Fighters Facebook group to find out more and hear about future survey opportunities:
The Council is keen to support dog owners to deal with dog waste in the correct manner by providing dog dedicated dog bins, although ordinary litter bins can be used
for disposal of bagged waste. The council also provides free biodegradable bags to the public from a number of locations in the towns.
Litter Free Coast and Sea Somerset is the flagship project of the Severn Estuary Partnership which is hosted by Cardiff University. The project was set up in 2016, with support from Wessex Water, the Environment Agency, Sedgemoor District Council and Cardiff University. The community-led campaign is designed to protect bathing water quality and reduce levels of beach and marine litter along the coast. We’re always keen to hear from anyone who would like to find out more and get involved with the project:
Facebook: Litter Free Somerset