Careless dog owners blighting playing field

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Joanne Taylor, centre, with parents who want action against dog fouling.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Joanne Taylor, centre, with parents who want action against dog fouling.

Children’s enjoyment of a playing field in Great Waldingfield is being ruined by “horrific” dog mess left by careless owners.

Parents say that Waldingfield park, which is close to Great Waldingfield Primary School and is regularly used by pupils, has become hazardous due to the amount of dog mess.

“The problem in and around the park and play area is absolutely horrific,” said mother-of-three Joanne Taylor, from Nether Hall Close.

“It makes me very angry and is annoying that people do not clean up after their dog. Something needs to be done about it.”

Mrs Taylor said she often takes her children, aged eight, seven and four, to the park after school, but along with other parents, had grown concerned.

The 42-year-old said that dog excrement had even been smeared on the area’s climbing frame on Thursday.

“It is just not acceptable and is causing everybody problems,” said Mrs Taylor.

“The village is surrounded with public footpaths across the fields and surely picking up after your dog, bagging and binning the mess can’t be that difficult – unless you don’t give a damn.”

Angie Jones, headteacher at the primary school, said staff had to go out with trowels to remove dog mess when pupils used the playing field for PE lessons and lunch breaks. She said children had made posters highlighting the issue.

“It is a problem as this could cause a nasty illness and it would be lovely if it didn’t happen,” she said. “Dog owners need to be mindful of the children, as some people don’t realise the consequences of their carelessness.”

John Steele, chairman of Great Waldingfield Parish Council, said a minority of people were to blame.

“It is a hardcore of people out late at night or early in the morning when no-one is there to reprimand them and they take advantage,” he said.

Mr Steele said the council was planning to install more dog bins later this year, while ideas on how to combat the problem were welcome.

In Sudbury, community wardens have the power to fine owners up to £1,000 for not cleaning up after their pet.