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Launch of new 'Green Dog Walkers' scheme

Villagers have signed up to a national community-led scheme which aims to help tackle dog fouling and bring irresponsible dog owners to heel.

Green Dog Walkers launch

Wimblington Parish Council launched the Green Dog Walkers scheme at the Fun Dog Show, which was organised by the village's Parish Fun Day group at the weekend. A total of 32 people signed up to the initiative on the day - and even more since.

The scheme was first piloted by a Scottish council ten years ago, and has proved hugely successful in reducing issues around dog fouling across the UK, including the Malvern Hills and Northumberland.

Dog owners who pledge to become a Green Dog Walker show they are responsible for cleaning up after their pets by displaying a green ribbon. The ribbon also lets other owners know that they carry spare bags and are happy to supply one if they're 'caught short'.

Friendly and non-confrontational, the scheme aims to create a talking point among dog walkers and green ribbon wearers act as good example to other dog owners who may be less responsible.

Councillor Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council's Portfolio Holder for the Environment, spoke at Saturday's launch and said he was looking forward to the initiative working alongside the Council's environmental enforcement work.

Extra dog fouling patrols are now being carried out as part of the Council's Tidy Fenland campaign, and further signs and posters reminding owners to clean up after their pets are being put up in popular dog walking areas.

Anyone caught failing to clean up after their dog by an officer - or reported to the Council by a witness - could be issued with a £75 Fixed Penalty Notice.

Cllr Murphy said: "The Green Dog Walker scheme is a great initiative that will help tackle the scourge of dog mess in our public spaces and spread the message about responsible dog ownership. It will also support our ongoing enforcement work to protect and enhance an attractive, safe and sustainable environment."

Wimblington Parish Councillor Joanne Rose said it has been a great start to the Green Dog Walkers scheme.

"It's not a register as such; nobody has to give their personal details if they don't want to. We just take details of where owners walk their dogs so that we can see a pattern of where the green ribbons wearers are walking.

"The ribbon wearers can also monitor those areas and advise of any specifically problematic areas or times of day. We're delighted Fenland District Council is supportive of this initiative and it shows that we are taking the problem very seriously, but in a friendly and engaging manner."

Article added: March 15, 2018