Dog owners have been urged to clean up after their pets when walking around South Yorkshire reservoirs.
Yorkshire Water say Scout Dike reservoir near Sheffield and Langsett reservoir near Barnsley are among the worst places in the region for dog mess being left to litter pathways.
The company is backing a new national campaign by the Dogs Trust called the ‘Big Scoop’ in which dog owners are being encouraged to act responsibly and scoop up after their pets.
Yorkshire Water says it has spent around £60,000 in the last five years trying to deal with dog mess at its reservoir sites, but it is still a problem it is trying to fix.
Alastair Harvey, recreation advisor at Yorkshire Water, said: “We welcome dog owners to our sites but leaving dog mess spoils the experience for our other visitors.
“So we are asking dog owners to bag it and bin it. We spend around £12,000 a year to tackle the problem and have bins provided at our most popular reservoirs, so we ask people to please use them and help us keep these beauty spots clean and enjoyable for all.”
Alex Jackson, campaigns manager at Dogs Trust, said: “Failing to pick up after your dog gives other dogs and their owners a bad name, and, whilst it is a small minority who don’t scoop their dogs poop, we are hoping the Big Scoop - Dogs Trust nationwide poop campaign - will remind everyone to help keep their local area dog poo free, prompt other owners to pick up dog mess and dispose of it in any public bin.”
To help highlight the campaign, an unusual photo stunt took place, with Yorkshire Water staff setting up a ‘pyramid of poo’ using smiley face poo cushions to highlight how the company’s staff are left to clear up the mess if dogs aren’t cleaned up after by their owners.
Research suggests that dog fouling tends to occur at night time and during the winter months, as some dog owners feel that they can’t be seen in darkness.