Dog walkers urged to clean up after their dogs in Northchurch Common
There are over 400 dog waste bins across Dacorum
A woman is calling on dog owners to clean up after their dog after seeing Northchurch Common covered in dog mess.
The woman, who is a dog owner herself, was shocked at the amount of dog poo that she saw at Northchurch Common, Ashridge and Pancake Woods while out on her recent walks.
She said: "Northchurch Common is National Trust land and for some reason they do not ask dog walkers to pick up their dog poo.
"I have a young family and we enjoy going to Northchurch Common and Pancake Woods but they are both full of dog poo.
"I'm a dog owner and always pick up after my dog has gone for a poo and I teach my children that it is the right and responsible thing to do.
"I don't understand why other dog owners do not just pick it up.
"People think it is acceptable for them to kick the poo off the main path but my six-year-old son wants to run along the common, playing football and run through the woods.
"I think we need to understand what is happening and it is of huge public interest given the rise in dog ownership.
"It is a becoming a nightmare for people who want to walk on the common and the woods
"I understand Dacorum has a new manifesto about it, and people can get fined for not picking up their dog poo.
"But on National Trust land, they do not have to apparently, it should be one clear rule.
"People might not realise what the rules and guidance are, it should be more clear from both the National Trust and the council.
"I think Dacorum Borough Council should put up more signs and more dog poo bins in the parks and countryside to encourage people to pick up after their dogs.
"And I do not understand why the National Trust are not asking people to pick up their dog's poo."
Dacorum Borough Council introduced a dog PSPO to promote responsible dog ownership in 2019.
A Dacorum Borough Council spokesperson said: "We have around 430 dog waste bins across Dacorum and residents can find their nearest bin on our website. Dog waste can also be placed in any normal litter bin.
"In 2019 Dacorum Borough Council introduced a dog PSPO to promote responsible dog ownership. Breaching a PSPO can result in a £75 fixed penalty notice.
"During this process it was requested by the National Trust that they were not included in any Orders relating to dog fouling as they take the ‘stick and flick’ approach to land under their ownership.
"The dog PSPO covers five areas, including failure to pick up after your dog and failure to keep your dog out of play areas.
"The PSPO is important to ensure residents can enjoy their community and promote responsible dog ownership.
"We don't want people to stop enjoying themselves but we do want to tackle the behaviour of the minority whose behaviour has a detrimental impact on the lives of others.
"In areas covered under the PSPO’s the Councils Operations and Public Health Team undertake patrols and letter drops in areas where there appears to be ongoing problems with dog fouling.
A spokesperson for the National Trust said: "We understand your frustration and we are looking at how we can encourage visitors with dogs to act responsibly as we all share our green spaces and want to enjoy them. This is an important issue for us.
"We do have signage and dog waste bins at the main estate car park on the Ashridge Estate and signage at Northchurch Common.
"However, with multiple access points to both sites, having more bins would be very expensive and difficult to manage.
"We are promoting the Countryside Code and have a Canine Code of Conduct, which we hope will promote responsible dog ownership."