Bag it Brothers’ quest to rid parks of dog mess
AFTER growing frustrated with all the dog poo covering their sports playing fields, an 11-year-old boy and his little brother have been installing dog-poo bag dispensers all over Cheltenham.
Oliver and Samuel, seven, have installed 15 homemade dog-poo bag dispensers recycled from old juice bottles and are looking to expand.
They are attached to lampposts by public bins.
Oliver said: “Would you like to go for a normal walk and just start stepping in poo on the floor and risk getting your shoes dirty or would you be happy just to get a poo bag and pick it up and put it in the bag?
“Especially if you’re just walking on a street or just anywhere, you don’t really want to be standing in dog poo.
“So we’re just trying to make it clear that you can go and pick up some poo and put it in the bin so it doesn’t go around everywhere.
“We just want to make it so that all parks around are clean.”
The boys’ clean-up project stemmed from the fact that they are avid football
players and dog owners. However, dog mess became a real problem for Oliver, in particular, when he was playing football on sports fields.
Oliver said: “If you’re playing football or something on a big sports field and you’re running with the ball, you don’t want to accidentally skid on the floor and be sliding in poo everywhere. “You want to have a clean sports field. I have seen that happen a couple of times and I feel kind of sorry for them, they’ve got the ball and they’ve slid over and it’s not really their fault.
“We wanted to help them so they don’t slip over and they don’t mess up their sports because of other people leaving their poo on the floor.”
It all began on one day when walking with their father Daniel and their own dog - Barney, a Cockapoo the dog excreted in a public space, leaving a dirty mess.
They stuck their hands in their pocket to retrieve the poo bags, only to realise that they had forgotten to pack them as they couldn’t find them anywhere.
They were faced with the realisation that they would have to leave the poo and continue on their walk.
Every step of the way, they felt awful.
As fast they could, they went trawling for leaves that were big enough to fold over the poo but they found nothing suitable.
Eventually, they found a fellow dog owner who had a bag and went back to clean up Barney’s mess. They realised that this must be a common problem for dog owners.
What’s more, Oliver kept seeing dog poo everywhere and he realised that something had to be done and he felt the responsibility fell on him. He and his family, who are from the Reddings, went online to look for ideas on how to deal with the problem.
That’s when they found out that they could make their own dog-poo bag dispensers from recycled bottles.
With his seven-year-old brother, they set about re-engineering old juice bottles. Their father drilledholes to the back and affixed zip line fasteners with which to attach them to posts.
They then created labels for the bottles asking the question: “Did you forget your poo bags? Please help to keep our town poo free by using a bag and clearing up your dog’s poo.
“Anytime you are passing, please put a spare in for others that may forget.
“Always clean up after your pet and dispose of the bag responsibly in a bin or take it home with you. “Let’s keep our town clean and tidy.” The boys have now put up 15 of the dispensers.
“We’re expanding. We’ve put them up in Montpellier now.”
However, the ambitious primary school pupil said that for his project to become more successful he needs other dog owners to help out.
He said. “They could make dog poo dispensers and put them around.”
Oliver hastens to add that the bags should be biodegradable.”
Oliver and his family have set up a Facebook page, Clean Dogs UK, and he implores everyone to join the cause.
Ollie with his brother Sam, with one of the dispensers Pictures: Anna Lythgoe