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'Pick up the poo!' – Friends of Ballard Water Meadow launch campaign to clean up beauty spot

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DOG walkers are urged not to cause a stink at a New Milton beauty spot as conservationists launched a 'Pick up the Poo!' campaign.

The Friends of Ballard Water Meadow group is calling on people who bring their four-legged friends to the site to pick up their waste to help keep it clean and safe.

The campaign was sparked by concerns that a proliferation of dog mess on the meadow was posing a danger not only to humans but also its delicate flora and fauna.

Ballard Water Meadow
Ballard Water Meadow

With a recent survey having counted 49 deposits along one stretch of path alone, the Friends will don protective gloves to hand-clear any visible waste on Saturday.

They will also install new signage and offer free poo bags to dog walkers to help keep the area clean.

Bob Lord, chair of the Friends, said: “No one should have to see it, smell it or step in it!

“As volunteers we work hard to maintain the wildlife interest, using hand tools to cut and clear vegetation in the meadow and open up the woodland for wildflowers and birds for all to enjoy.

“Picking up or stepping in unseen dog poo spoils our enjoyment and no one wants to see this happening, and particularly now, to children enjoying the fairy doors trail.”

Friends of Ballard Water Meadow chairman Bob Lord
Friends of Ballard Water Meadow chairman Bob Lord

The campaign also highlights how fortunate local residents are to have such an amenity amid a general decline in wildflower meadows and wildlife over the decades.

It is hoped the site will be clear when visitors are welcomed there for National Meadow Day on Saturday 2nd July, when activities including nature walks and stream dipping will be on offer between 10am and 4pm.

The Friends care for Ballard Water Meadow, along with the town council and a team of litter pickers.

Earlier this year Official Verderer Lord Manners called on all New Forest dog walkers to ensure they pick up after their pets.

As reported in the A&T, it came after 18 cattle aborted their unborn calves, having contracted the neospora bug, which is linked to the waste of dogs and foxes.

The verderers warned that failure to follow both the New Forest Code and the new Countryside Code could threaten the ancient practice of grazing cows on the Forest.For more information visit friendsofballardwatermeadow.co.uk

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