‘Challenge people leaving dog waste bags’
WALKERS should challenge dog owners who leave their pet’s mess in bags on National Trust land, the organisation’s new chief has said.
Hilary Mcgrady, the trust’s new director-general, said her rangers were spending too much time picking up litter and “dog poo” rather than conserving trust properties.
In her first interview since taking over in the role, Mrs Mcgrady said dog dirt left at National Trust properties was a “nightmare”.
Mrs Mcgrady said: “It is our rangers that have to pick this up – and instead of doing the great conservation work they want to do they are spending time clearing up litter, and the great awful thing they have to do which is dog poo, which people like to talk to me a lot about. It is a nightmare.”
The trust has erected signs at its properties where pet owners had picked up dog waste and left it hanging in bags from trees and fences, urging them to take it home.
A trust source said some dog owners on long walks hang their bagged pet’s waste in trees and then “deliberately forget” to collect it when they go home.
The source said: “It is an issue. People hang it on branches and then pick it up at the end of the walk – but then they deliberately forget or do forget [to collect it].”
Mrs Mcgrady, 51, a married mother of three who re- placed Dame Helen Ghosh last month, added: “Littering is a real problem. I was sitting in the car yesterday and a man just threw a cup out of the window.
“I was aghast. Who does that these days? It is a real problem that the nation has got protective about. Lots of people are challenging it much, much more and that has got to be a good thing.”
Asked how she would react if someone threw a crisp packet on National Trust land she said: “I would have to speak to the person and say: ‘What is that about?’ A, there is a bin. And B, more importantly, think about what is the impact of this litter on this environment.
This week Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, said walkers should not be afraid of asking others to pick up litter in the countryside. ♦ Fly-tippers face higher onthe-spot fines of £400, which are to be introduced in the autumn. Therese Coffey, the environment minister, said she wanted to end the “anti-social crime that blighted the countryside and our streets”.
A tree adorned with dog bags as a protest in Todmorden, Lancs