Fighting Dog Fouling on Football pitches

Fighting Dog Fouling on Football pitches

By Les Roberts
1st April
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To help fight the problem of dog fouling, Gabriella Holdgate from Hoylake has made doggy bag dispensers out of recycled plastic bottles.

If you've ever had to make a makeshift poop-scoop to rid a football pitch of dog mess, Gabriella Holdgate's ingenious invention will make things a bit more bearable - the Hoylake schoolgirl has set about creating doggy bag dispensers from recycled plastic bottles, and has placed a couple at our Newton Park and Acres Road pitches.

No more improvised pooper-scoopers

The realisation that you've stepped in dog muck is always exasperating, as is the process of scraping bits of poo from the tread on your shoes - something which can rarely be done without holding your nose while to cursing the careless dog walkers under your breath (although this soon becomes the least of your worries if you've somehow managed to walk it through the house).

And all football coaches will be familiar with the squeals of horror when player finds a pile of poo on the pitch or, unthinkably, slides through one while making a tackle. If you’ve no doggy bags on you, an improvised pooper-scooper is the only way to go, usually in the form of a plastic pitch marker that will quickly be lashed into the nearest bin along with the offending excrement.

Until now, that is, as all teams playing at both Newton Park and Acres road will have doggy bags to hand, thanks to Gabriella Holdgate's ingenious invention – plastic pop bottles that have been repurposed to dispense doggy bags have been put up at both venues.

Gabrielle, whose dad, Lee, and brother, Cameron, respectively manage and play for Galaxy Under 9s, said of her brainwave: “It became more and more frequent on my walk to school that I was dodging or standing in dog mess. Twice I had to go home and change my shoes and what really upset me was seeing the younger children at school standing in it as they got upset.

“So I decided I would leave doggy bags out, but needed an idea to put them in something that would be protected from the wind and rain. Then I thought of our recycling bin and our plastic bottles as this helps the environment in more ways than one.

“Me and my family like to have a walk after our tea, and we thought about the places where we mostly saw dog mess and decided to put bags there too, especially the park where little children play.”

I’m sure we’ll all be grateful for Gabrielle’s simple-but-brilliant idea.

Did you know dog fouling is a criminal offence?

If anyone lets their dog do their business in a public place, they’re committing a criminal offence if they don’t then clear up after it.

The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 made it a criminal offence to let a dog defecate at any time on designated land without the person in charge of the dog at that time clearing it up as soon as possible. This Act was subsequently repealed by Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 section 65, and replaced by similar legislation in the same act.

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