Football pitch fouled by dogs
Posted by Jo
I have never entered into the habit of discussion rooms but after this weekend decided something had to be said.
Hebden Bridge Saints, a talented bunch of young footballers of both sexes play every weekend on Scout Road Football Pitch, Mytholmroyd. Parents come along and watch these fantastic games and usually a good time is had by all.
Only one thing clouds these matches. Dog dirt.
The pitch is covered.
Team managers and coaches have to spend ten minutes before the matches start scooping this up and moving it where children as young as seven can't fall into it.
Why oh why can't lazy dog owners clean up after themselves? These owners know football is played on these pitches so stop been so lazy and clean it up.
Next time your dog fouls on this pitch think of these children in shorts crying because yet again they are covered in your dogs' excrement. If you can't clean up after your pet there is an easy solution. Don't have one!
I would also like to protest at the state of the football pitch on Scout road having just spent a Sunday morning watching my son play football whilst trying to dodge the excrement found all over the pitch.
It is not only unpleasant, it is also very dangerous to children as it can cause serious illness and even blindness if ingested.
I am not sure if the Calderdale wardens have any powers to patrol areas such as this , perhaps a willing local councillor could take up the case?
In the meantime dog owners, please do not use this ground as a toilet it is not waste ground and I don't remember a problem with dog fouling when it was used as a cricket ground! Your actions are both selfish and extremely dangerous!
Posted by Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell
Dog fouling has been and is an ongoing issue for the Scout Road park.
I am working with Calderdale Environmental Health department and the community group which runs the park to try and create a long term solution to the problem.
Sadly, it essentially comes down to a few individuals who have little regard for the safety of others that use the park and getting the message across that the community will not tolerate what is in effect dangerous antisocial behaviour.
If anybody has any information about who is allowing their dogs to foul the park please do not hesitate to either email me or call me in confidence on 01422 883732.
Posted by Anne
If it's anything like the playing field at Old Town, then the main culprits are likely to be those people who let their dogs out unsupervised. In the gardens around the Vale Centre in Hebden, they have notices all over the place which also say that CCTV cameras are in operation, but the gardens are still strewn with dog mess. I'd love to know if they've actually pursued any dog owners on the basis of CCTV footage (unlikely I think, bearing in mind the number of hours of film they'd have to look through!) Possibly the only solution is to actually prosecute a few dog owners and publicise that fact quite widely in the areas where it is a problem. But would local residents have the support of the police in bringing about such prosecutions?
The problem with the Scout Road pitch is that it is private land and therefore i would think Calderdale and the police have no powers to patrol it, as the land is owned by a community association.
Presumably the only course of action would be for the owners to take out a private prosecution for trespass/damage?
With regard to the situation in Hebden Bridge, reading last week's HB times it would appear the council are far too busy ticketing cars at the moment to worry about such trivial matters!
Posted by Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell
After a meeting I had with Environmental Health yesterday morning it was decided that there would be education and enforcement action taken in the Scout Road area.
Leaflets from environmental health and the community group reminding dog owners of their obligations will be posted in the surrounding area, and dog wardens will take enforcement action where necessary.
As dog wardens cannot be patrolling the field round the clock, members of the public are being asked pass details of offenders onto Environmental Health (0845 245 6000), myself (883732) or a member of the community group to assist in enforcement.
It may take a few weeks for the message to get around but once it does we should see marked improvement.
NOTE: The land is legally owned by the National Playing Fields Association but is managed by the Scout Road Community Group. Thanks to the extensive work by the chair, Gayle, and the rest of the management committee, this year there will be a local consultation on how the site should be developed for the community, plans will be drawn up and bids will be submitted for funds.
Posted by Jo
Thank you John for your help on this matter. I know it will take time for this problem to improve and do really hope dog owners take notice.
Posted by Andy M
Speaking as a dog owner may I add my support to efforts to counter foulers.
One of the reasons I didn't have a dog for years was because I didn't fancy the thought of clearing up after it but now I have one I never leave anything behind, as it were. If anything I am more annoyed now by irresponsible owners and am unfortunately reminded of their presence on a daily basis walking my dog around the lanes and paths of Heptonstall.
Its lazy, anti-social and irresponsible to leave mess behind and I sometimes feel, as an owner, guilty by association. I thought I would meet offenders regularly and so be able to err remonstrate with them, but they are curiously difficult to spot given the amount of dung on footpaths and open space areas (and, I'm told by a local farmer people go to the trouble of bagging it up and chucking it in his pastures - incredible.)
Personally I think the best form of punishment would be re-using the village stocks for offenders but failing this how about making part of the fine a reward for information since I've never seen a warden around here?
Posted by Joseph
In the days where many people now have cameraphones, I'd love people to photograph owners who let this happen, and for the Hebweb to post these pictures. Its a modern equivalent of the stocks, which I understand is now frowned upon. Yes it does raise some issues.... Do you photograph the Dog or the owner? Do you need both parties in shot? Is it libelous to falsely suggest that someones dog has done a poo that it did in fact not do? Would it be easier to post short videos of the whole offence? Do I need to get out more? etc etc
Posted by Andy M
Great idea - perhaps we could do it on here - a rogues gallery!