More than 250 pieces of dog mess in the space of 200 yards have been recorded at a popular countryside site.
But instead of the mess being picked up, it is being sprayed with a bright paint in a bid to make dog owners feel so guilty that they won’t let their pets foul there in future.
The spraying is all part of a targeted campaign aimed at highlighting the problem of dog fouling at Pleasley Pit Country Park and Local Nature Reserve, a reclaimed colliery site between Mansfield and Chesterfield.
“It is a beautiful countryside park, with some lovely walks that are used by a lot of families, but dog fouling is one of the scourges we are faced with,” said Coun Brian Murray-Carr, cabinet member for the environment at Bolsover District Council.
“To see so much dog mess in such a concentrated area shows there is a huge problem. This bright white spray-paint will make the mess really obvious, so dog-owners get the message that it is disgusting.”
The paint is being used because the earthy colour tones of dog mess often make it difficult to spot against the ground. The council has been backed in its campaign by Pleasley Wildlife Group and by countryside rangers from Derbyshire County Council, and all three organisations have been at the park over the last three weeks to tackle the issue of dog fouling.
“In reality, there shouldn’t be a problem,” added Coun Murray-Carr. “If you own a dog, it eats, it poos, you clean it up. That’s why we have been on site, talking to people and trying to educate them on the dangers dog fouling can cause.”
Dog owners are being urged to pick up after their pets and place any dog mess in one of two dog bins that are currently available at both entrances to the park.
They are also being warned that the council’s dog wardens can issue fixed penalty notices of up to £80 to anyone seen failing to clear up the dog mess of their pets.