It’s time to talk poo – we are holding a Ludlow dog fouling summit on 26 February

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.

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Last day to comment on bid to remove six recycling bring banks in Ludlow – and a hundred more across the county

Recycling is one of the big themes of our age as concerns grow about waste of resources, pollution and climate change. But cash-strapped Shropshire Council wants to remove more than 100 bring banks from car parks and other locations. The council wants to save £230,000 and complains about fly-tipping and use of the bring banks by businesses. Today is the last day to comment.

The council is scoring a home goal with its proposals. The government’s new Resources and Waste Strategy aims to boost recycling. Shropshire Council aims to go in the opposite direction. It doesn’t seem to have recycling as a priority any more.

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Fifty-year plan to improve Mortimer Forest looks good

If you down into the woods this weekend, spare a thought for how they are managed and might be improved. The Forestry Commission has published a fifty-year plan for the Mortimer Forest and wants to hear views by 1 February.

The plan’s vision is for the 1,029-hectare forest to be become a haven for people, nature and the economy. Broadleaf cover will be increased to over one-fifth of the forest over the next ten years and to much larger areas over the subsequent decades. Views including from Ludlow will be improved. There is no mention of building accommodation in the forest.

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Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of our county and planet

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The council has now set out details of the proposed cuts and is asking for public comments.

Under the proposals, recycling will get more difficult and households will pay twice over for garden waste. This is bound to cut the proportion of waste that is recycled, a proportion that is already falling.

The council is also proposing cuts to the planning team, along with culture and leisure services.

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Could changing government recycling policy breathe new life into the pioneering Ludlow Biodigester?

A decade ago, Ludlow was one of the country’s champions of food waste recycling. Caddies were collected weekly from the doorstep of homes and local businesses. This was processed in the biodigester on Coder Road creating gas and compost. This was an experimental project but it was cutting edge. So much so, I travelled from Oxfordshire just to view the facility. It is now closed.

Now the government is saying that we must take food waste seriously. It says weekly food waste should be collected and biodigested. It doesn’t want councils to continue composting in open bins as we do in Shropshire.

This is an ideal opportunity to upgrade and reopen Ludlow’s pioneering biodigester.

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