Mid Ulster District Council in partnership with the Dog’s Trust and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, recently launched the Walk this Way campaign to tackle dog foul at local beauty spot, Lough Fea.
Walk this Way was developed by the canine charity, Dog’s Trust, in a hope to reduce the amount of dog waste left in public spaces. Now in its third year, the campaign has been launched at its first Mid Ulster site, Lough Fea.
As part of the campaign, the popular dog walking route at Lough Fea now has new maps installed to show where bins are placed with clear signage to find them while also adding more bins to the route. It also features the length of the walk and directs walkers to the nearest bins to dispose of their dogs’ waste.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Cora Corry welcomed the campaign:
“We are so lucky in Mid Ulster to have many beautiful walking routes like Lough Fea across the district. Unfortunately dog foul has been an issue and we hope that by introducing the Walk this Way signage and extra bins that our dog owners enjoying the walking route will do so responsibly, helping to keep our public spaces free from unwanted waste.”
Michelle Moat, Community Education & Engagement Officer at Dogs Trust, said:
“Walking a dog is a wonderful past time with many health benefits for both owner and pooch. However, part of being a responsible dog owner is ensuring you pick up after your dog and suitably dispose of the waste. Previous interventions have shown that by having more bins available, clearer signposting and messaging that ‘Any Bin Will Do’ has dramatically improved the surrounding areas.
“We’re excited by the potential of our new Walk This Way routes and can’t wait to see the improvements it will make. Hopefully it will be a long-term change to the area and make the space more enjoyable for everyone.”
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful CEO Dr Ian Humphreys, said:
“We are pleased to be continuing this partnership to help dog owners clear up their dog poo and make green, public spaces free from unwanted waste.
“We have already seen that Walk This Way has reduced the amount of waste left behind by dog owners and we hope that this success can continue in even more sites this year.”
Walk This Way previously ran in 2017 (with 6 sites) and again in 2018 (with 15 sites), encouraging owners to correctly deposit their dog’s waste in any general waste bin. This intervention successfully reduced fouling instances by 38% and 40% respectively.
Walk This Way hopes to improve the green spaces of 12 new sites involved, including Lough Fea, for all using them.