It is the season of dog poo. Dark nights encourage people ignore the mess their dog makes. It is left there for everyone to tread on. It looks disgusting and it is downright dangerous for everyone, especially children.
A back of envelope calculation suggests dogs in Ludlow and the walking areas adjacent to it produce one tonne of poo every day. If a small fraction of that is left behind, we have a major problem with dog mess – and know we have a major problem with dog mess.
This blog and the summit a result in a specific request from a resident, one of many comments I have received in the last few months. We are organising a brainstorming session to come up with simple and effective ideas to reduce the problem. It will be held 5.30pm to 7pm upstairs in the Rose and Crown on Tuesday, 26 February.
If our residents own the same number of dogs as the average in the West Midlands, then around 1,800 households in Ludlow and Lib Dem have dogs, around 2,750 dogs in all. The US Food and Drink Administration estimates that the average dog produces 340 grams of poo a day. That’s almost one tonne of dog poo a day in Ludlow and Ludford. Most of this is dealt with responsibly.
It’s anyone’s guess how many irresponsible dog owners we have. But if one in 20 dog owners is irresponsible, we’d get 50kg of dog fouling a day on our pavements, verges and green spaces. That’s 11lb a day in old measures.
Dog mess is dangerous. Among many diseases, it can lead to toxocariasis, a parasitical disease than can cause blindness.
Shropshire Council cleans town centre pavements, though very rarely outside the town centre. The council has no will to deal with littering. In 2017/18, it only issued three fines through Fixed Penalty Notices across the unitary area. One was issued in Ludlow and two in Shrewsbury. The council issued a further seven written warnings, one in Ludlow.
We have an excellent team of litter pickers in Ludlow Pride of Place. But we need to stop dog fouling in the first place.
There are a lot of ideas out there. Signage designed by schoolchildren, free poo bags on lampposts, chalk spray to highlight problem pavements… The purpose of our meeting will be to spend a little over an hour brainstorming ideas and discussing the next steps. It will be at 5.30pm, in the upstairs in the Rose and Crown on Tuesday, 26 February.