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North Walsham has been inspired by America in a bid to solve its dog fouling problem

08:42 11 February 2016

Central Park in New York.

Central Park in New York.

Start spreading the news...a Norfolk town is taking inspiration from the Big Apple.

The low-down on American dog parks

Various parks in America are known as ‘dog parks’. This means that they will have a fenced off section for dogs to play in off the lead without disrupting other park users.

In Central Park, New York City, dogs have 23 allocated parks to choose from, and they are allowed in them before 9am and after 9pm. Central Park Paws hosts regular events for dog owners in the park, for example a monthly ‘Bagel Barks’ event which gives dog owners the chance to meet, talk and have breakfast while the dogs enjoy some off-lead playtime.

Barc Parc South in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is considered one of the best dog parks. It boasts its own lake for dogs to keep cool, and shade areas for the owners. It also separates the park into areas for small and large dogs.

Logan Gate dog park in Tampa, Florida, has five acres for dogs to run around in. It has a six foot fence with double gated entries. The area is split into areas for small and large dogs. There are also water fountains for dogs and their owners, picnic tables, shelters, dog washes and a hitching post.

But it is not the yellow taxis, coffee shops or Statue of Liberty that are catching the eye of North Walsham - it is the dog-friendly areas of Central Park.

For town councillors want to follow the lead of New York and many other places in America by fencing off parts of parks in a bid to deal with the problem of dog fouling.

The idea was inspired by a councillor’s visit to New York where 10 fenced-off areas could be seen in Central Park, creating spaces for dogs to roam free and exercise.

It comes after several members of the public voiced their concerns over the increasing dog mess around the town.

Trackside Skate Park in North Walsham.

Picture: MARK BULLIMORETrackside Skate Park in North Walsham. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A comment was made on the Facebook group ‘Regenerate North Walsham’ about the problem and many members joined in the discussion.

One member, Kim Hooker, said: “I am a responsible dog owner and I get really cheesed off with people that don’t clear up after their dogs. I take my dogs on the park in the mornings and there’s always poo to avoid, you can’t actually walk anywhere without looking at the floor to see where you are walking.”

The town council will also be issuing new bins - both dog and ordinary - as soon as possible, to try and tackle the problem.

Nick Clancy, North Walsham town clerk, said: “The council has recognised that there has been a problem in certain areas for a while and is being active in dealing with it. We have had complaints before and one problem is the lack of bins and understanding that ordinary waste bins can be used for dog waste as long as the bag is tied up.

“The council has purchased more bins and next week we will be working out the locations and number of bins we will put out. We hope they will be out as soon as possible.

“I suspect that we won’t consider banning dogs from public parks, but the council is looking into trying to install a fenced off dog exercise area at Trackside park which will give a safe area for dogs to run and train away from other park users.”

The possible move has been supported by Westover Vets, on Yarmouth Road. It said: “By providing a safe and secure dog exercising area it improves safety for both the dogs and other park users. It allows dogs to exercise off the lead without impacting on other park users and may restrict fouling in other areas.”

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “Dog fouling is taken extremely seriously by North Norfolk District Council and we run a ‘No Messing’ campaign, an on-going strategy for tackling fouling.

“Officers from the Environmental Protection team are involved in a staged approach which combines education, information and officer patrols across the district.

“In hot spot areas officers will use signage and patrols to raise the profile of the message.”

12 comments

  • Sorry to upset dog ' lovers '. Dog in a park , not on lead ? Shoot on sight . Problem solved.

    Report this comment

    Steven

    Saturday, February 13, 2016

  • Dog owners are bad enough for not clearing up behind their beloved pets, but what about cat owners? have you ever seen one of those clearing up after their animal C**ps in your garden? Not a chance. Cat owners should be made to have the same responsibilities as imposed on dog owners, keep them under control and on your property, not be allowed to do what they like, when they like, with no restrictions. Far too may of them about, and don't get me started on the 80 million plus wild birds destroyed by cats every year!

    Report this comment

    Mr T

    Friday, February 12, 2016

  • New York: The big apple, North Walsham: The big cr&pple. Norwich City football club: Don't get me started.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • New York: The big apple, North Walsham: The big crapple. Norwich City football club: Don't get me started.

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Virtually everywhere I go in NW I see piles & piles of dog poo. On pavements along Aylsham Road & the roads the lead off it, Cherry Tree Lane seems to be a very popular place for a sneaky dump. There's even more along the footpath that runs parallel to the A149 from the traffic lights to the Industrial Estate and along the old railway track that runs from Trackside Park towards the Weavers Way Car Park. These are of course are reasonably secluded places where dog owners think that they can get away with it. I've seen them, the so called responsible dog owners nonchently pretending that they don't know where their dog is or what it's doing. Funny really when you know that they have purposely brought them there to do their business with no intention of clearing it up. It's the same ones, in the same place, at the same time every day. And now the solution is to allocate special areas in parks so that they can just carry on doing what they're doing with the blessing of the Town Council. You couldn't make it up.

    Report this comment

    Mylen1um

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Dog mess is bad enough but where I live there is bad problem with horse mess also, surely the riders should be accountable as well as dog owners.

    Report this comment

    stoneman

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Sorry LDeene but we live in a civilised society where certain basic standards should be maintained. I do not accept that we have to tolerate dog mess anywhere.

    Report this comment

    Jiblian

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • I am a dog owner and i clear up my dogs mess, the people who don't carry poo bags should be fined as they have no intention of clearing it up

    Report this comment

    ROBERT BUNN

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Not owning a dog doesn't mean you don't like dogs! I couldn't have one for years whilst I was working full time. Now I'm at home all day, I love having my dog to walk as it keeps me fit as I walk miles every day. I'm quite sure that many more would have a dog if they had the resources and the time to care for it properly. I agree about the dog mess being a problem in parks etc. and I wish I had the answer but I don't agree with banning millions of us from enjoying our walks with our pets just because of some selfish behaviour. This would be like banning children because they make noise in restaurants and shops, thus spoiling the experience for other customers. I'm afraid that we live on a small island on an over-crowded planet and we need to learn to live with one another and accept each other's foibles and general lack of perfection. It's not easy, but what's the alternative? Go and live on a deserted island perhaps?

    Report this comment

    L.Deene

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Runwell is right. I walk through Sheringham Park and Blickling quite frequently and it is often rare to see a dog on a lead despite the notices asking them to put their dog on a lead. No doubt those owners all think they are responsible and a special case but they are not. I am also getting fed up at the increasing number of bags left around - it is becoming quite common. If there is not a bin around, take it home!!!

    Report this comment

    andy

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Weaversway 99% of dog owners are not responsible. I'm sure that you consider yourself responsible and I'm grateful that you do, however, even if a figure could be calculated I doubt very much it would be even 10%. Go anywhere in Norfolk; beaches, forests, public parks, public rights of way and they will be dominated by dogs running free and out of control and strewn with dog mess. I respect the right of people to own dogs but there's ample evidence that owners relieve themselves of their responsibilities as soon as the dog has relieved itself. I'd contest that we are a nation of 'dog lovers' too. A quick search suggests that only 24% of households own a dog. The majorioty of households therefore do not. I deeply resent the fact that I and my family cannot spend time outside in just about any public place now without extreme vigilance for either piles of a substance extremely hazardous to my small children's health or harrassment (or worse) from any number of dogs running free and not under any kind of control. Dog owners, please dont assume that those without dogs find your animals as wonderful as you do. I, and 75% of the UK do not.

    Report this comment

    Runwell1

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • Hope it is successful. However, like so many aspects of life, it is the very small minority that give the rest a bad name. I walk my elderly mum's dog and that of a neighbour. 99% of dog owners are responsible, however the very few that act irresponsibly will never change. Sad fact of life.

    Report this comment

    weaversway

    Thursday, February 11, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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