Clean-up shines light on dog waste woes

Rossall Beach
Rossall Beach

Surveys carried out by volunteers have highlighted the true scale of dog fouling on a Fylde coast beach.

Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group have been counting the cold but not so hard facts of just how much dog waste there is to be found on their beach, with 106 bags disposed of in just two months.

The figures from Rossall come as Wyre Council looks into the possibilty of DNA testing dog muck in a bid to make owners more likely to pick up after their pet.

For now it is volunteers struggling to keep the sand and shingle clear. Jane Littlewood, chairman of the Rossall Beach Group says she is prepared to ‘lead from the front’, spending an hour and half scanning the shingle between the Five Bar Gate near Rossall School and the end of Thornton Gate, armed with a seaside spade and roll of plastic bags.

Jane said: “Walking along the path the beach looked quite clean but even I was staggered at just how much we collected, and no doubt we missed some too.”

Rossall Beach is one place where dog walkers can enjoy the simple pleasure of taking their pet on the sands as it isn’t subject to a dog ban as part of the ongoing efforts on the Fylde Coast to improve beaches and bathing waters, and the group stress that they certainly are not anti-dog.

However, owners are required to pick up after their dog, whether it should foul on the promenade walkway, the shingle or the sand, above or below high tide mark, and shouldn’t need to be told of the hazards which can be caused through leaving it on the ground, campaigners say.

Jane hailed the hard work of volunteers but called on owners to do more to help keep the beach clean.

She said: “At these two sessions a total of 84 volunteers spent their free time making the beach clean and tidy for everyone to enjoy it, while a group of Trustees spent their morning cleaning up other people’s dog poo.

“ We work hard to improve the environment for everyone who enjoys our beautiful beach and we want everyone who comes here to go away with a really good impression of a nice place which is well cared for. Apart from the well documented problems which dog waste causes, what kind of message is it sending out if the beach is covered in dog dirt?

“Please, just bag it and bin it.”