Friday, 30 March 2012

Snakes in the grass

I am writing to the council, the paper, anyone I can think of about the snakes in the grass I saw yesterday.

I did actually see a snake in the grass for the first time. It was a grass snake, quite harmless and eager to hide itself again in the undergrowth.

But that is not the subject of my log today. These are;

No, it isn't a cobra raising its ugly head in the foreground. It is a supermarket bag with dog turds inside. In a hundred yards of pathway from East End down to the secluded valley I found nine turd bags abandoned by the path.

Our dog walking neighbours are  possibly obeying one law, while breaking a much more important law, the law that prohibits despoiling our beautiful countryside.


If you walk many of our country roads you will see a piece of abandoned rubbish in the hedge every two feet. The Council eventually clean up, but it is a losing battle.

I am concerned that no one will clean up this mess ever.

I confess that I am happy to let my dog add its muck to that of all the other animals in the countryside, as long as it is away from the path itself. It is not as healthy as the all the sheep and cow effluent in the fields, perhaps. But it rapidly goes back to nature again. It is countryside, not the town, not a park or even a "country park."

These shitbags may sit there indefinitely, turning the path into a rubbish dump.

There are many other paths into the valley.
How long before they are all like this?

What is the solution? A dog litter bin at the start of this path would be helpful. But is it sensible to place a string of them across the length of the walk between East End and Coombe or Hanborough?

I think it is unreasonable to ask people to walk for miles holding a bag of ordure in one hand.

Some clarification about what is and is not a poop scoop zone might be helpful.

There are times when I am disgusted with many of my fellow human beings.
They treat our fragile natural environment like a litter bin.

Grammar is the difference between knowing your shit
and knowing you're shit.

So how do we punctuate this situation.

I am for a full stop.

After writing this piece I rang the council. Someone will be round to clean up the mess early next week.
They also clarified the law. It is all right to let your dog do its business out in the country away from a footpath or bridle way. What is absolutely NOT ACCEPTABLE is to leave the shit by or on the path in a bag.

People have started to hang shit bags in trees, I am told.

How mad is that?

I paste this from the West Oxfordshire Council website

Dog fouling

Dog fouling is when a person permits a dog in their charge to foul in a public place and fails to clean it away immediately after.
A public place means land to which the public has access within built up areas of the District,  which includes roads, gutters, footpaths, verges, pedestrian areas, parks, school playing fields, sports grounds, and cemeteries etc.
Ideally, dogs should be trained from an early age to go at home in their own garden before or after a walk, rather than during.
If dog fouling does occur away from home it can be quickly and easily removed using any suitable plastic bag without your hands coming into contact with the faeces. Simply place your hand inside the bag, pick up the faeces, and then pull the bag down around your hand, effectively turning it inside out, and resulting in the waste now being contained within. Tie a knot in the bag and place it in a dog waste bin or take it home for disposal. If this is not possible, as a last resort double-wrap in two plastic bags and dispose of in a litter bin.
  • There are over 500 dog waste bins installed throughout the district.
  • Aluminium dog fouling warning signs and self-adhesive stickers are also available.
It is a problem because:
  • Dog faeces carry many germs that can cause illness and in extreme cases could result in blindness.
  • It is both offensive to smell and to look at, and is extremely unpleasant to step in.
Report dog fouling

You can click on the link above and be taken to forms for reporting this stuff. I just wish it hadn't taken four telephone calls to different places before I was shown the right place.

West Oxfordshire has a pretty good website, but even the men and women from the council clearly struggle to find the right places.

When you do find it, the information is very helpful and clear.
You can find the problem spot here on google earth if you have it.

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