Bag it Brothers’ quest to rid parks of dog mess

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Sa­muel PORT

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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

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