Dogs: ‘Yellow flags’ set to shame ‘disgusting’ mess in Uckfield’s green spaces

Yellow flags could dot Uckfield’s Luxford Field, Victoria Pleasure Ground and other open leisure spaces to try and shame dog owners who do not clear up after their animals.

The temporary flags would mark every spot where a dog had fouled and the mess left.

Town councillors agreed a low-cost campaign to try and reduce the amount of dog mess often found on public areas owned by the council.

They hope to shame dog owners into following the rules.

Members of the environment and leisure committee agreed to the measures which were outlined by UckfieldNews.com yesterday (August 21).

Cllr Diane Ward, Trust Independent, Central Ward, said that as a dog owner who cleaned up after her pet, she was pained that so many people didn’t.

“If they cannot clear up after their animal, then they shouldn’t have them,” she said.

“I think it is a good idea but my concern is: who is going to enforce it?

‘Shaming exercise’

Assistant town clerk, Christine Wheatley, told the meeting the campaign would not change the behaviour of everyone, it would influence some and it was rather like a “shaming exercise”.

She said: “If we had pictures of yellow flags all over Victoria, for example, on the football pitch, at Ridgewood, at Hemsptead, all the other places and the nature reserves as well, it is something over time we can take pictures of, put them all together and say ‘look how disgusting this is’.

“It might just shame people. It might not.”

Cllr Mick Dean, chairman, Trust Independent, New Town, said councillors had spoken about the problem for some time and needed to be seen doing something.

Education

“If it does shame people, some might start naming people and shaming them. They might not but I think doing something is better than doing nothing at all, and at a minimum cost.”

It was all about education and he hoped this would be the first step in pointing people in the right direction.

Cllr Duncan Bennett, deputy town mayor, Trust Independent, New Town, said public open spaces were by nature places where children roll around on the grass and people play sports or use it for leisure activities.

”It is doubly important that the activity of errant dog owners is highlighted in those places.”

He felt the vast majority of responsible dog owners would be supportive of the council.

“We are not out to vilify dog owners. We out to find those who are irresponsible.”

Dogs running free

Cllr Helen Firth, Conservative, Central Ward, said there were people who let the dogs run and they were nowhere near them and were unaware of fouling.

She said: “There are people who go to Victoria in their cars, open the doors, let their dogs out and sit there reading the paper. Those are the people who need to be caught and taught a lesson – a hard lesson.”

See also:

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