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Catchment Management

‘Pyramid of poo’: Photo stunt highlights problem of dog poop around Yorkshire’s reservoirs

Here at Yorkshire Water, we have given our support to a national poop campaign in a bid to curtail the problem of dog mess littering pathways around our reservoir beauty spots.

The campaign, called the ‘Big Scoop’, has been created by Dogs Trust, with an aim of encouraging all dog owners to act responsibly and ‘scoop’ up after their pets.

In support of the campaign, we staged a photo stunt to highlight the unsightly nature of dog poop left around its reservoirs. The photo features a giant pile of smiley face poo cushions – dubbed a ‘pyramid of poo’ – with colleagues left to clean up the mess. We hope the eye-catching approach will convince dog owners to clean up unsightly dog mess every time.

Dog fouling hotspots include Baitings reservoir near Ripponden, Swinsty reservoir near Harrogate, Scout Dike reservoir near Sheffield and Embsay reservoir near Skipton.

We have spent around £60,000 in the last five years trying to reduce the problem of dog mess, but it is still an issue.

Alastair Harvey, Recreation Advisor, said: “We welcome dog owners to our sites but leaving dog mess spoils the experience for our other visitors.

So we are asking dog owners to bag it and bin it. We spend around £12,000 a year trying to tackle the problem and have bins provided at our most popular reservoirs, so we ask people to please use them and help us keep these beauty spots clean and enjoyable for all.”

We also display Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘we’re watching you’ signs to target irresponsible dog owners. These posters feature a large pair of eyes which are visible after dark and use innovative, cutting-edge materials, that ‘charge up’ during the day to glow in the dark at night.

Alex Jackson, Campaigns Manager at Dogs Trust says: “Failing to pick up after your dog gives other dogs and their owners a bad name, and, whilst it is a small minority who don’t scoop their dogs poop, we are hoping the Big Scoop - Dogs Trust nationwide poop campaign - will remind everyone to help keep their local area dog poo free, prompt other owners to pick up dog mess and dispose of it in any public bin.”

Research suggested that dog fouling tends to occur at night time and during the winter months, as some dog owners feel that they can’t be seen ‘under the cover of darkness’.

As one of Yorkshire’s biggest landowners, around two million people visit our recreational sites each year and the most popular activity is to take dogs for a walk around a reservoir.

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