After a school visit to Yeovil Country Park to visit the woodland as part of a special geography study week, class 4 pupils at Birchfield Primary School were disappointed to encounter large amounts of dog poo, spoiling their visit to the Country Park and limiting the environmental studies that they could carry out.
The student and teachers who visited the park felt so strongly about the problem that four students put pen to paper and wrote to Councillor Tony Lock asking for more bins and posters in the Country Park advising dog owners to clear up after their pets.
One of the children had a particularly close encounter with the mess. The student said, “I slipped over and as I got back up I noticed that my head had been only a few centimetres from a large pile of dog poo.” Another class 4 boy added, “We had a great visit overall, but felt that we needed the council to know about the problem and so that’s why we wrote the letters.”
Councillor Lock and the Yeovil Country Park ranger team were so impressed with the students’ letters and their thoughts about tackling this issue of irresponsible pet ownership, that they decided to see if they could enlist the help of the students in a new summer poster campaign for the park.
Ranger Rachael Whaites said, “I was really disappointed that the pupils visit to Ninesprings had been partially spoiled by this small minority of irresponsible dog owners. There are enough bins on site in good locations so there really is no excuse not to pick up after your pet. However I do think that our posters and notices are quite bland and sometimes go ignored, hopefully by working with the school students they will design us some vibrant and hard hitting new posters that we will put up throughout the park this summer.
“I am looking forward to visiting the school and seeing the students work and during my visit I intend to get the students enthusiastic about the wildlife and habitats at the Country Park that they can fully explore during the approaching school holidays”.
Councillor Tony Lock added, “It’s excellent that schools in the local area are using Ninesprings to educate the children and the whole site is so well used. With the addition of the rangers centre in the near future, this will only attract more schools to the site.
“The class 4 students wrote to me with their concerns about dog fouling at the site and we were happy to action their concerns. We asked them to perhaps design some posters that we can display in the summer which the school was very happy to do. It’s excellent news that the district council rangers are working with the school to help alleviate the problem. These children are our future adults and it’s great to see them taking such a keen interest to help protect the site and keep it tidy.”