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Dog poo causing less of a stink at New Milton's Ballard Water Meadow after campaign

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CONSERVATIONISTS celebrated a New Milton beauty spot’s rosier outlook one month on from the launch of a crackdown on dog poo.

The Pick up the Poo! campaign, run by the Friends of Ballard Water Meadow, was sparked by concerns that a proliferation of dog mess posed a danger to humans and the delicate flora and fauna.

When it started on 24th June, volunteers wearing gloves and masks cleared 172 deposits from the woodland and meadow’s paths and verges.

The Pick up the Poo! campaign sign at Ballard Water Meadow
The Pick up the Poo! campaign sign at Ballard Water Meadow

Now Friends volunteers have been finding only around four or five deposits a day over about one-and-a-half miles of paths at the SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation).

A weekly ‘Poo Count Update’ posted round the site has also proved popular, allowing people to see their impact.

Daily patrols spraypaint any visible poo to stop people treading in it and to show that it has been noted. It is then collected the next day.

Inspired by a recent Channel 5 programme, Britain’s Dog Poo Scandal, bag dispensers have been installed made from old plastic bottles.

The initiative, together with encouraging signage and talking to local dog walkers, was attributed to a significant drop in mess left behind.

Dog poo bag dispenser at the meadows
Dog poo bag dispenser at the meadows

Volunteer Mandy Hayes said: “We’ve had a fantastic response from the local dog owners.

“Previously, the woodland path stank of dog faeces and you really did have to watch where you walked.

“Now it’s a pleasure for everyone to take a stroll.

“It’s a bit like litter, you don’t think about it when it’s not there, but it’s really offensive when it is.”

The Friends thanked campaign supporters, especially those who pick up other people’s dog poo and others that add their own bags to the dispensers.

The scheme continues until Christmas when its impact and costs involved will be reviewed.

For more information visit friendsofballardwatermeadow.co.uk

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