The writing is on the path for dirty dogs in north Norfolk as street stencils drive home the poop scoop message

Lola the miniature schnauzer and owner Steve Marca cast an eye over one of North Norfolk District Council's  Lola the miniature schnauzer and owner Steve Marca cast an eye over one of North Norfolk District Council's "No Messing" pavement stencils on their daily walk alongside Sheringham beck. Photo: Karen Bethell

Thursday, March 27, 2014
4:45 PM

Graphic street art is helping in the battle against dog mess in north Norfolk.

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No messing! Official graffiti on the pavements in Sheringham. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYNo messing! Official graffiti on the pavements in Sheringham. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Spray-painted stencils of squatting pets have been put on pavements at problem hot spots at North Walsham and Sheringham.

It is part of a clampdown by North Norfolk District Council which is also recruiting and training a team of community dog wardens, and encouraging the public to report irresponsible dog owners.

But, while the council says their efforts have seen a decrease in the numbers of dog walkers failing to pick up after their pets, some members of the public still feel more should be done.

District council environmental protection manager James Wilson said that, since the “No Messing” campaign was started last year, dog mess has become less of a issue.

The scheme aims to identify problem areas through various sources, including reports from members of the public and from street cleaners.

Hotspots were targeted with door-to-door deliveries of No Messing postcards, which encourage people to report irresponsible owners - who are liable for an £80 fine - either by telephone, post or via the council’s website.

Other strategies included community support officer patrols outside primary schools at Sheringham and North Walsham, and the pavement slogans, which show a dog and the words: No Messing!

An appeal for community dog wardens had also had a good response, with around a dozen currently being trained.

“We want to promote community engagement as we find that tends to work,” Mr Wilson said.

However, parents and teachers at Sheringham Primary School and Millfield School at North Walsham say that, in spite of the council’s efforts, dog mess is still very much an issue.

Facebook pages complaining about dog fouling outside schools have been set up by parents from both towns and, according to Sheringham Primary head teacher Dominic Cragoe, pupils and parents are “fed up” with having to dodge piles of dog mess on their way to school.

“It is disgusting that people can’t clear up,” Mr Cragoe said. “It is not acceptable to anybody in the community, it is thoughtless and it’s a health hazard.

“Parents have said something needs to be done. We have got children and babies in pushchairs walking past the school and I’ve seen high school students who have stepped in mess on their way to school.”

Sheringham dog owner Steve Marca regularly walks his miniature schnauzer Lola along the footpath leading to Beeston common – an area designated as a “hotspot” by the council.

He felt the pavement stencils were a good idea, but was less than confident that they would have the desired effect.

“There are a few people who spoil it for the rest of us and it’s a problem catching people,” he said. “Unless you have patrols going round cleaning up dog mess like they do in Paris, then you’re just not going to get rid of it.”

Mr Wilson said that more was being done, with members of the public now able to communicate with the council via Facebook and Streetlife.

“We are very keen for people to contact us and, if they are able to give us an idea of a time, or if there is a particular person involved, then we will act and target our resources to tackle the problem.”

To report a dog mess problem, or to find out about becoming a community dog warden, visit www.northnorfolk.org/environment or phone 01263 516085.

8 comments

  • What a complete waste of my tax payers money again. I am a responsible dog owner in North Walsham. For one thing there are not enough bins in my area - they have been removed and not replaced. There are no dog wardens either that I have seen - and I walk my dogs a lot. How much are these stencils costing and why were we not consulted before they were put down - I think they are a complete waste - who cares about a stencil. Come on council start thinking like normal people and use my money properly!!!

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    Anne26

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • @Anne26, Dog bin within sight and about 50 yards away from the entrance to the Community centre car park, dog mess about 6 foot away from dog bin, dog wardens are about, however they won't be holding up a sign to tell you who they are.

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    Hugh

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • If you find one let me know, likewise a dog bin

    Report this comment

    Anne26

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • Some of the less intelligent owners might take the stencils to indicate where their dogs are ALLOWED to poo.

    Report this comment

    backwoodsman

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • I think I would rather have the dog poo than this council approved graffiti

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • To the lazy dog owner who keeps allowing their dog to mess, near the new Community centre in Sheringham, and refuses to clear up the mess, I have reported you to NNDC today, you will be caught by the dog warden and fined.

    Report this comment

    Hugh

    Friday, March 28, 2014

  • North Norfolk DC pavement art, don't you just love it. I agree with reader, I never stopped being amazed at the artfully draped bags of plastic and dog mess gracing the hedges, what skill...and all that thought that must have gone into it. What will you do if you find the Bacton pooper trooper, reader?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • I would love to catch the idiot who is leaving bags of dog mess all over bacton woods .they are everywhere .

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

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

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