A SEDATE Saddleworth hamlet is challenging unthinking dog owners whose pets are leaving unwanted calling cards.
Jennifer Greenwood, chair of community group Love Lydgate, said: “To put it simply, if you don’t love your dog enough to look after it properly — don’t come to Lydgate.”
She made her move after disgruntled villagers claimed fields and country lands are being blighted by an increased number of dogs leaving their mess in the area.
She declared: “We are proud of Lydgate and work hard to make it an attractive place for those driving or walking through, as well as those who live here.
“Many people comment on the colourful planting and the way in which local residents keep the place clean and tidy.
“Unfortunately, not all visitors respect this and the villagers are incensed their pathways, play areas and fields are being used by dog walkers as a dog toilet.
“Most people pick up after their dogs but a selfish few are making our environment a dirty and dangerous place.
“It’s hard to understand their mentality. We see people drive here to walk their dogs, presumably because it is an attractive area and then allow their dogs to foul it.”
Now, with the support of Oldham Council, bins for the dog waste have been placed at strategic points throughout the village.
Jennifer added: “It is awful when children find their football playing area plastered with dog excrement and other dog walkers having to watch where they put their feet.
“Some owners even allow their dogs to defecate in the graveyard or on pieces of land where it is obvious we are gardening.
“We are sick of it and if fining people is the only way to stop this anti-social behaviour that is what we will have to do.”
Mother of two Anna Humphries said: “I know some parents who will not walk their children to school because of the amount of dog mess on local pavements and paths.
“It’s not just fields and paths, it’s pavements as well. People are so brazen to do it in full sight of everyone as they know there will be no consequences.”
There are community-wide complaints on social media highlighting public walkways, fields and countryside as sites for dig excrement.
But a spokesman for Oldham Council said in the last financial year they only received 33 complaints and issued one fixed penalty notice on dog fouling.
“Our officers would need to catch people in the act or for people to provide us with actual evidence that can be used,” he said.
“It is the responsibility of the dog owner to clear up after their dog — if they did there wouldn’t be an issue.
“We have always worked with schools and Friends Groups to highlight the problem.”
For details on dog fouling and key information go online: www.oldham.gov.uk/info/200520/dogs/805/dog_fouling