Dog poo ‘baubles’ are not the latest Christmas decoration trend, but rather a growing problem being called out by a rural environmentalist in Preston.
Many nature lovers and walkers enjoy the Grimsargh Wetland area which is a treasured area of natural beauty just outside of Preston.
But according to Neil Hartley, there has been a recent spike of dog poo being left on the wetlands and as a volunteer who tends to the grounds, he has spoken up, reports Lancs Live.
Neil Hartley is a lifetime member of the Grimsargh Wetlands volunteer group and regularly checks on the area as a local resident and volunteer.
During his checks, he says he see all kinds of odd bits of rubbish around the wetlands but has taken to social this time to highlight the recent issues of dog fouling.
Grimsargh wetlands is regarded as a biological heritage site due to the amount of rare species that come to nest; the status of the area is held dear by locals and volunteers which is why Neil wanted to raise awareness.
Neil's post said: "I thought this would be a good theme for a Christmas quiz. If you're responsible for the "special bauble" hanging, and you've been practising quite a bit lately, can you see another place it could go? If you're struggling to get your head around the concept, I'll do a training course for you, the answer will be part of the course!
"The Wetlands are managed by a small army of volunteers, myself included, but I don't mind giving up more time for the course. But please note, bring your own sandwiches, it might be a long job."
This humorous response to the recent dog fouling highlighted a wider issue Neil said, of individuals showing very little care for an area of natural beauty.
"People frequent the viewing points for birds and wildlife- there's a good spirit about people around here but some just take advantage of the area," he said.
"We get species of bird like Oyster Catchers, Long-tail Duck, Reed Buntings and Barn Owls. Most people do pick up after their dogs but for some reason, hang up the bad of poo on railings- some chuck over the railing onto nesting areas which is really bad.
"The site has wild species so wildlife could pick it up, and the bags aren't biodegradable so it's just adding plastic into the natural habitats. You don't know the knock on affect, this could put species off from nesting here if the area is ruined."
When going about his regular weekend checks, Neil has started to notice that some individuals even hang the bags up next to bird feeders instead of taking it to the bin.
"It's just laziness," He said.
"There's more dog muck on the floor than in bags and kids are treading in it too. What is ironic, is the pictures I took on the day, the bin was empty, but people still left bags around- the bin is clear to see when you enter the wetlands too. The bin is right there when you come in, either keep it with you, use the bin or just take it home – it's a matter of public decency."
Other locals living in the area commented on Neil's post about the dog poo in bags.
One person wrote: "As a responsible dog owner this makes me so mad! I’d love to catch someone doing it and then return the favour by decorating their garden with them."
Another person said: "It never ceases to amaze me. People take the trouble to purchase poo bags, take them with them on walks, responsibly pick up their dogs poo ………. and then leave the bloody bags hanging from a tree / post/ window sill (I’ve seen that one!) or leave in on the path. WHAT IS THAT ABOUT???"
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