Surrey Heath Borough Council has joined forces with Dogs Trust and Keep Britain Tidy in a new dog walking route initiative.
Frimley Lodge Park and Chobham Water Meadows are among 15 new sites announced as part of an extension to Walk This Way, a successful pilot programme by Dogs Trust and Keep Britain Tidy which reduced the amount of dog waste left in public spaces.
The programme makes over popular dog walking routes, adding more bins and clear signage to find them.
The six sites included in the pilot saw an impressive 38% decrease in dog fouling over a four-week period.
Now it’s hoped this success will be mirrored in the 15 new sites, all of which will feature signage, maps and colour-coded routes which clearly mark the length of the walk and direct walkers to the nearest bins to dispose of their dogs’ waste.
The bins and signage will be in place for at least four weeks, with the potential to remain long term depending on the results.
Frimley Lodge Park’s two Walk This Way routes include one 2km and one 4km walk. Both start opposite the entrance to the 3G pitch. The Chobham Water Meadows 6km route starts at the High Street car park (behind Chobham Rider shop).
Places and Strategy Portfolio Holder Cllr Craig Fennell said: “We know that dog fouling is an issue which many residents feel strongly about, and the introduction of these new Walk This Way route markers and extra bins at Frimley Lodge and Chobham Water Meadows is another way we are working towards eliminating it from our Borough, helping to keep Surrey Heath clean, green and safe.
“We hope dog owners will try out the new routes at some of our best loved parks and greenspaces, and of course, ‘bag it and bin it’ along the way.”
For more information on the Walk This Way routes, including maps, go to www.surreyheath.gov.uk/walkthisway
The introduction of the Walk This Way routes builds on the Council’s ongoing effort to reduce dog fouling in Surrey Heath, including the introduction of a network of 40 Tikspac free dog waste bag stations across the Borough, the #BelikeKeith campaign, featuring canine Bag it and Bin it campaigner (and black labrador) Keith, school visits, and glow in the dark ‘We’re Watching You’ posters at problem locations.
Lee Paris, Dogs Trust Senior Campaigns Officer said: “Part of being a responsible dog owner is ensuring you pick up after your dog and suitably dispose of the waste. Last year’s pilot showed that by having more bins available, clearer signposting and messaging that ‘Any Bin Is A Win’ has dramatically improved the surrounding areas.
“We’re excited by the potential of our new Walk this Way routes and can’t wait to see the improvements it will make. Hopefully it will be a long-term change to the area and make the space more enjoyable for everyone.”
Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “Contrary to what some people seem to think, there is, in fact, no such thing as the dog poo fairy who will come along and remove their bagged dog poo. The responsibility is on the owner.
“The Walk this Way approach has led to a marked reduction in the amount of bagged poo littering parks and we’re keen to see if this success can be mirrored in even more sites this year.”
To find out more about the initiative visit www.dogstrust.org.uk/thebigscoop