Canal towpath walkers and boat users will no doubt have seen trees and hedges that are festooned with plastic bags containing dog droppings.
Now British Waterways is appealing to dog owners to stop this practice. BW says the canal towpath, and the countryside in general, is becoming increasingly littered with the discarded bags.
BW "took the lead" today and, together with the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance group, dressed a canal-side tree on the Rochdale Canal with plastic bags to illustrate the problem.
BW's top dog, Robin Evans, commented: "It is great that people are picking up after their pet, but why put something that is biodegradable into a bag that isn’t and then chuck it into the nearest hedge? It just doesn’t make sense. Our message is simple, if you’re a dog owner visiting a canal or the countryside in general, clear
up after your pet and then dispose of the bag properly."
The "Dog Poo Tree" next to the Guillotine Lock in Todmorden. Photo: BW
Louise Harrison of Upper Calder Valley Renaissance, said: "Here in the Calder Valley we have some of the nation’s most beautiful countryside and it is barking
mad that people insist on spoiling it in this way. Hopefully the shocking sight of a beautiful tree entirely decorated with bags of poo will remind pet owners just how silly it is to discard of their dogs’ mess in this way."
BW points out that dog faeces normally takes just weeks to biodegrade, but plastic bags can take anything up to 500 years.
(Also read Ben's commentary on "Poo Bags".)