Concern over dog fouling at a country park has prompted an appeal for people to report owners who fail to clean up after their pets.
The problem has increased noticeably across 100-acre Summerhill in recent weeks, and led to fears that it is creating a potential health hazard while also threatening to ruin people’s enjoyment of the site.
The appeal has come from Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher, Coun Marjorie James and Coun Allan Barclay, whose Manor House ward borders Summerhill.
Coun Akers-Belcher, also Vice-Chair man of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Policy Committee, which has responsibility for Summerhill, said: “We ran a campaign to tackle dog fouling in Manor House ward earlier this year and our message then was clear – the council can’t win this battle on its own.”
Council enforcement officers patrol Summerhill, and dog owners caught failing to clean up will receive £80 fixed penalty notice fines.
Adam Reah, the council’s outdoor activities co-ordinator who is based at Summerhill Visitor Centre, said: “It is sad that this problem is occurring at a time when the site has never been more popular.
“We acknowledge that many owners do respect the site, but a significant number of irresponsible people also think it is acceptable to leave their dogs’ mess for someone else to clean up.
“Such an attitude is totally unacceptable and inexcusable.”
lTo report offending dog owners, people should call (01429) 523333.