Four community groups in former mining towns and villages have won a share of a £6,000 funding package to help them tackle the menace of dog fouling in their area.
The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the only charity fighting for former mining areas, issued its £6,000 Dog Poo Challenge after realising that 80 per cent of the communities they serve highlighted it as a major concern.
Clackmannan Development Trust and Gorebridge Community Cares were each awarded £2,000 while Forth Development Trust and Benarty Forum Group each received £1,000.
Gorebridge decided to call their campaign ‘Poo Dunnit?’ and plan to get a local artist working with pupils from the area’s four primary schools to help them design posters to raise awareness of the problem.
They also plan to patrol local streets and put a chalk spray round any examples of dog fouling they find. A similar exercise last year saw a dramatic drop in dog droppings as owners realised that their failure to clean up after the pets had been noticed.
The highlight of this year’s campaign will be when the artist and local pupils turn one of the examples of fouling into a mock crime scene.
Ellen Scott of Gorebridge Community Cares, who successfully pitched the ‘Poo Dunnit’ proposal to a CRT Dragons Den, said: “This campaign is all about raising awareness of the problem and reminding dog owners how offensive members of the public find dog fouling, especially when it gets on children’s shoes and they drag it all through the house.”
Presenting the awards, Bob Young, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, said: “We really appreciate the light-hearted themes coming through in some of these proposals.
“But this problem has a really serious side to it. I had an instance a number of years ago when a young footballer in our family lost the sight of one eye, from an infection after falling in dog mess playing football in a public park.
“So dog fouling can be a real health hazard as well an absolute nuisance.”