Educating Lewes dog walkers

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DOG fouling was the centre of attention at a Lewes nature reserve last week.

Temporary educational signs went up at the Lewes Railway Land Local Nature Reserve and animal control wardens have been busy all week talking to dog owners.

The initiative was started by Town Councillors Petrina Kingham (Lib Dem, Bridge Ward) and Ashley Price (Green, Priory Ward) after complaints from visitors.

Cllr Kingham said it was designed to raise awareness.

“I am very pleased with the response Lewes District Council has given us on this and from the comments from the general public, it has been very well received, which is good,” she said.

“I own two dogs myself but I don’t relish treading in poo when I go anywhere.”

Last month Cllr Price took photographs in the area and posted them on his blog.

One showed that a dog had fouled directly in front of the waste bin and its owner had not bothered to clear up the mess.

He said wardens were at the reserve at different times during the day this week reminding dog owners and walkers about clearing up after their pets.

The current fine for failing to clear up your dog’s mess is £60, with enforcement in the Magistrates’ Court for non-payment.

Director of the Railway Land Project John Parry said: “This is an issue that the Junior Management Board have felt strongly about for many years.

“It is good to now see further support from Lewes District Council to their artwork approach that they designed for the front gate to the Railway Land and which we try to change on a regular basis.

“Like so many things, the vast majority of dog walkers that I see regularly do indeed pick up their dog’s mess so it is worth praising and encouraging them to work on those who don’t!”