Charities encourage dog owners to ‘walk this way’

Dogs Trust and Keep Britain Tidy announce an extension to their successful ‘Walk This Way’ programme to reduce the amount of dog waste left behind by dog walkers.

The programme’s pilot saw six popular dog walking routes receive a makeover to feature more bins and clear signage to find them – which saw an impressive 38% decrease in dog fouling over the four week period.

According to Keep Britain Tidy research from 2017, the vast majority of people consider dog fouling to be the most offensive type of litter.

Despite this, research found that 13% of dog owners admit to leaving bagged dog poo behind on a walk, with 54% of people claiming a lack of nearby bins was the reason and 26% claim the bins were too full.

The partnerships between The Dogs Trust and Keep Britain Tidy is now calling on the public to nominate their local parks and public spaces to join the programme, which will be making over 18 new sites.

Based on the pilot, the 2018 activity will see the organisations work with local authorities in order for the selected dog-friendly walking routes to feature signage, maps and colour coded routes, which clearly mark the length of the walk and direct walkers to the nearest bins to dispose of their dogs’ waste along the way.

Dogs Trust Senior Campaigns Officer, Lee Paris, said: “Part of being responsible dog owner is ensuring you pick up after your dog and suitably dispose of the waste. Last year’s pilot showed that by having more bins available, clearer signposting and messaging that ‘Any Bin Is a Win’ has dramatically improved the surrounding areas. We now want to roll out the project more widely and are looking for suggestions from park managers, local authorities and residents if they think that their local green space could benefit.”

Additional findings in the Dogs Trust and Keep Britain Tidy 2017 report found that 83% of 642 park users stated that not picking up after a dog was completely unacceptable.

It also found that 1 in 3 (36%) agreed that the amount of dog mess had reduced, with 35% noticing a reduction of bagged poo and 46% of respondents interestingly noticed a decrease in general litter.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive, Allison Ogden-Newton, said: “Contrary to what some people seem to think, there is, in fact, no such thing as the dog poo fairy who will come along and remove their bagged dog poo. The responsibility is on the owner. This approach has led to a marked reduction in the amount of bagged poo littering parks and we’re keen to see if this success can be mirrored in even more sites this year.”

To register your local space to be one of the options for the 18 new sites you can contact Campaigns@dogstrust.org.uk or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/walkthisway