Image: The poo patrol outside the Forest Centre, Marston Moretaine 

By Anna Charles - Head Ranger, Forest of Marston Vale

Whilst visiting the Millennium Country Park and surrounding areas in recent months, you may have encountered a small but determined group of individuals carrying out ‘poo patrols’. Adorned with high vis jackets and armed with rather a lot of poo bags, we set about patrolling (and clearing up) dog poo ‘hot spots’ within the Millennium Country Park and Marston Moretaine.

The group consisting of local Ward Councillor, Sue Clarke, Jeanette Little from Marston Moretaine Parish Council, local residents and dog owners Mel and Georgina, and myself. Mel started the ball rolling when she contacted Sue and I regarding the ongoing issue of irresponsible dog owners failing to pick up after their dogs. So, we grouped together and took some positive action.

The sessions were a great opportunity to speak to dog owners in the locality and listen to their views. On a positive note, all the people we chatted to were armed with dog bags and were clearly doing the right thing. Some said they had picked up others dog poo and/or spoke to people they saw not picking up to remind them of their responsibilities - every little helps! On a less positive note, we picked up an awful lot of dog poo in several different locations. Much of this was within minutes’ walk of dog waste bins which made it all the more infuriating.

Image: Waste collected by the poo patrol at the Millennium Country Park, Marston Moretaine 

A reminder to the minority: Please pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste responsibly. When you choose to own a dog, you are also accepting the essential requirement to clear up after them. This remains the case even if there isn’t a dog bin close by. In this situation, take it home and dispose of in your household waste.

Leaving your dog waste is not only an eyesore, but a health hazard, particularly for children. Those of us maintaining paths are also at risk - on many occasions I have been strimming paths only to get sprayed from head to foot in dog poo left behind in the grass.

To all responsible owners who enjoy walking their dogs in and around Marston Moretaine and within the Millennium Country Park, thank you to you all. You and your dog are always welcome!

What can you do to help?

By donating or becoming a Friend of the Forest you support our work by helping us plant more trees and maintain our community woodlands.

Furthermore, you can volunteer within the Forest of Marston Vale trust to make a hands-on difference to the creation of more woodlands within the Forest.

Become a Friend of the Forest