A CRACKDOWN on dog fouling has been launched at a Lewes beauty spot.
It is aimed at irresponsible owners who fail to clean up after their pets at the Lewes Railway Land Local Nature Reserve.
The initiative comes from Town Councillors Petrina Kingham (Lib Dem) and Ashley Price (Green) following complaints from visitors to the area.
They held a productive site meeting with Community Ranger Dan Ross which has resulted in educational signs being placed around the entrances to the land.
Next month, the enforcement team from Lewes District Council’s Environmental Health department will be actively targeting dog walkers and supplying information leaflets and waste bags.
The current fine for failing to clear up your dog’s mess is £60, with enforcement in the Magistrates’ Court for non-payment.
It was noted that there is only one dog waste bin at the site. While there are no plans for more, because of aesthetic and logistical issues, the large entrance noticeboard map will show the location of the existing one.
Cllr Kingham said: “Abandoned dog waste is highly unpleasant to those who are unfortunate enough to tread in or drive over it, having a particular affinity with prams, bikes, motobility vehicles and wheelchairs.
“Dog faeces may carry Toxocariasis, which can lead to human blindness.
“Poo does not make any form of aesthetic contribution or lend artistic merit to the landscape.”
She added: “Despite much time and work being invested in promoting responsible dog ownership by the Community Ranger Dan Ross, the Railway Land Wildlife Trust members and the Junior Management Board, a walk round the Railway Land identified a seeming reluctance by some dog owners to clean up after their beloveds.”
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.
Meanwhile, this year the Lewes Railway Land Local Nature Reserve celebrates 25 years as a public open space.
In recognition a festival will be staged on the site on Saturday, June 2 (2-6pm). Entrance to the family event is free. For details visit http://railwaylandproject.org/News_home