Dog walkers told to clean up after pets on pitches
Sports club bosses are calling on dog owners who fail to clear up after their pets to be more responsible.
Playing fields in Stamford are said to be regularly blighted by dog mess – much to the annoyance of football and rugby club management and players.
Stamford AFC’s The Young Daniels play at Uffington Road Playing Field and director Guy Walton said the issue is an ongoing problem.
He said: “The playing field is a public facility and we don’t have a problem with people using the site for dog walking.
“But what we do have a problem with is dog waste which is left on the pitches and surrounding areas.
“We don’t play as many games as usual over the Christmas period and when we returned to normal there was a lot of waste which had to be cleaned up before our young players went out onto the pitches.
“We’ve never had a week when there hasn’t been some to clear up.”
Stamford AFC committee member Jordane Edwards-Maddock added: “It is obvious on entry that the site is used for a multitude of sports, throughout the year, by both adults and children alike.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for our coaches to, week in week out, remove numerous piles of mess across each pitch before any training or games can commence. These piles are not just around the edges or hedges but across the whole space.
“We have had children slip over, as happens regularly in sport, and much to both theirs and their parents horror, what should be no more than mud is actually excrement. A rather less than perfect scenario of a time that should be fun.”
Stamford Rugby Club plays at the Empingham Road Playing Field and president Neil Jolly said dog mess on the pitches has been a problem for years.
He said: “It’s horrible – despite the fact there are dog waste bins provided on site, a minority of owners seem to choose not to clear up.
“It is an anti-social blight and I would really like to see an end put to it.”
Dog waste can carry roundworm parasites responsible for toxocariasis – an infection spread from animals to humans through contact with infected faeces.
Toxocariasis can cause flu-like symptoms and, in extreme cases, blindness.
Both playing fields are owned by South Kesteven District Council. A spokesman said: “We have received reports of an increase in dog fouling in the area of Uffington Road and Empingham Road.
“Members of the council’s Neighbourhoods Team have visited the site, checked dog fouling signage is in place and patrols are now in place. The primary focus of these patrols will be to educate dog owners regarding their responsibilities, enforcement will also be carried out should it be necessary.
“Dog fouling reports should always be made via the website at www.south kesteven.gov.uk”