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Dog mess is ruining our Island

Vicki Carden with plastic bags and one of the dog waste bins at the Barton's Point Coastal Park, Sheerness
Vicki Carden with plastic bags and one of the dog waste bins at the Barton's Point Coastal Park, Sheerness

Staff at one of the Island’s favourite leisure venues say they are fed up with people not clearing up after their pets.

Mandy Shade, who runs Barton’s Point Coastal Park in Sheerness, suggested their new year’s resolutions should be to remove their dogs’ mess.

The popular attraction has four dog poo bins placed at locations round the park – but still the staff are constantly having to clean it up themselves.

Even though the Boathouse Cafe on the site gives away dog mess bags for free, walkers still leave them in the park.

In the summer, some owners have even let their dogs do their business in among the people who are camping there.

Mandy says the amount of mess left has always been a problem, ever since she took over in April 2011, but now it is getting even worse as she and her staff have been having to pick up swan poo.

She says where the swans are constantly fed a huge amount of bread – which causes them to bloat – the size of the stools left by them are quite large.

Mandy says she has spoken to people about it before but often they just have the attitude that they are not going to pick it up.

“People are quite blatant about it,” she added.

“The staff have to walk round on a regular basis picking up other people’s dog mess – is that right?

“It’s even more infuriating in the summer because so many people use the park – it’s horrible.

“We all want a nice place to walk, please let’s keep it that way.”

Mandy said the Boathouse Cafe started selling special swan food last year and they noticed a massive difference in the size of the birds’ poos.

The Times Guardian has also been made aware of problems with dog mess along The Leas, Minster, and around Richmond Primary School in Sheerness.

The dog poo issue is one which so angers residents, an online petition has been launched.

Clean Up The Isle Of Sheppey is calling on Swale council to introduce more bins and for irresponsible dog owners to be fined.

The petition calls for action as residents say it makes our wonderful island a slum and also has serious health implications.

A spokesman said the council was aware of the dog fouling problem and is continuing to work with residents and community groups to tackle the issue.

With the shorter days, dog owners find they are often walking in the dark which means they may not see their dog has fouled,” the spokesman added.

“This is no excuse and if caught, we will still serve a fixed penalty of £80 on the offender.

“Dog fouling has a negative effect on us all and should not be tolerated.”

  • You can report dog fouling to the council on 01795 417850 or online
  • To view the petition, click here and search Clean Up Isle Of Sheppey.
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