Dog Fouling


Dog Fouling

Why Pick Up?

We’ve probably all experienced that moment, where you walk through the door and suddenly smell something odd. You then look under your shoe and realise you’ve walked in dog poo!

Not only is it a nuisance for everyone but it is actually a Public Health Risk. Contact with dog excrement can cause toxocariasis – a nasty infection that can lead to dizziness, nausea, asthma and even blindness or seizures. Although the majority of dog owners are responsible, there are a few who think it’s ok to leave it- or worse bag it and then leave it! The common excuses for not picking up after their dogs range from ‘there are no bins around’, ‘oh, I didn’t see that they had been’ and ‘I was going to pick it up on my way back’. All are not acceptable!

What Can You Do?

  • Report It: The local dog wardens are encouraging the public to report dog fouling offenders in their neighbourhood. If you notice a reoccurring offender, then take note of: a) breed and colour of dog b) time of day and c) description of the owner. This will improve enforcement action on the issue. Please note, they strongly urge you not to take photos of the public. If you would like to tell us where dog poo is a particular problem in Burnham, please email or for further information.
  • Volunteer: We encourage local input into our campaigns and would love to hear from volunteers who would like to join our Poo Fighting team on the ground throughout the Burnham area. If you would like to become a poo fighter please email for further information.

2020 Campaign

Don’t Poop and Run

Leaving Poop Damages Street Credibility…

No Matter The Size, No Matter The Place, No Matter The Time…. Always Pick Up

Our ‘Don’t Poop and Run’ ‘#BagItBinIt’ campaign has been designed in collaboration with Litter Free Dorset, Litter Free Coast and Sea, Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Town Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset Poo Fighters.

Working with Burnham on Sea and Highbridge Town Council, Sedgemoor District Council and local volunteers (Somerset Poo Fighters), we are carrying out stencilling and survey work in Burnham, targeting sites which have received high reports of dog fouling.

We encourage local input to the campaign and would love to hear from volunteers who would like to join our Poo Fighting team on the ground throughout our project areas. If you would like to become a poo fighter or would like to tell us where dog poo is a particular problem in Burnham, please email for further information.

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes but they all have one thing in common, poo. Judging what is socially and environmentally acceptable to do with your dogs faeces can be a bit of minefield so we have debunked some of the myths and simplified everything…

1. “As long as it’s not on the path it’s ok. I just stick and flick if it’s not“.

Small children do not stick to paths! Dog poo on pram wheels and in shoes is not fun. Plus Dog faeces can seriously impact on local farm animals. Bacteria contained in faeces can cause cattle to abort. Importantly neospora oocysts can last on the ground for long periods of time so if there isn’t cattle in the field until later in the year, the neospora could still affect them.  Once a cow has been infected they remain infected for life so all future calves they have are likely to abort.

2. “It’s fine to leave it because it will just wash away when it next rains

3. “You can leave it on the beach – the tide will wash it “away”

“Away” actually means that it is likely to reach our local rivers and seas in this case. Dog faeces is very high in bacteria and local sea swimmers, paddleboarders and paddlers will not want to splash around with floaters that could make them sick.

4. “There is cow and sheep poo all over the countryside, what is the big deal about dog poo?”

Cows and sheep are herbivores so their poo is broken-down plant matter, a bit like compost whereas dogs’ diets contain processed meats and fish products. You wouldn’t want to spread dog poo on your allotment! Dog poo can contain:

5. “Dog poo can only go in dog poo bins”

You can put them in any bin! Any bin will do…

6. “It is better to leave the poo on the ground rather than wrap it up in a plastic bag – plastic is more terrible for the environment than dog poo.”

Plastic bags are only a problem when they aren’t put in the bin as we know that plastic never breaks down and just becomes micro plastic. However, dog poo that goes in the bin could be burnt for energy from waste if in a council bin – so your dog poo can help heat a home or charge someone’s phone! It is worth looking into biodegradable poo bags that do not contact plastic too

2018 Campaign

Poo Fighters Campaign

In October 2018 we focused our campaigning on tackling the dog fouling problem in and around Burnham.  In addition to carrying out a spray campaign – involving spraying dog poo with chalk paint – we engaged with the local community through organising a dog walk and held an evening talk with a local vet and dog wardens.

We concentrated our spray survey in two areas renowned as dog fouling hotspots, Gore Alley and the path leading to Apex Park from the Sailing club. Once we had sprayed and counted the poo’s, we would leave them for a day before getting them cleaned up, ready for the next spray. The idea behind this, is that it highlights the problem and shows people that it isn’t going unnoticed. A bit of a Big Brother effect!

We saw a drastic reduction in fouling along Gore Alley. We counted 41 the first week, then it reduced to 13 and the final survey had 6. In comparison, we had a slight decrease, then increase on the Apex Park path.

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