How children are using art to tackle dog dirt in Hartlepool

Pupils (left-right) Eve Dobing, David Uchendu, Tia Francis and India Jeffries with (back, left-right) St Joseph's teaching assistant Deborah Boffy, Rift House PE teacher Andrew Hetherington, Summerhill Outreach Officer Claire McDonald and Summerhill Outdoor Activities Co-ordinator Adam Reah.
Pupils (left-right) Eve Dobing, David Uchendu, Tia Francis and India Jeffries with (back, left-right) St Joseph's teaching assistant Deborah Boffy, Rift House PE teacher Andrew Hetherington, Summerhill Outreach Officer Claire McDonald and Summerhill Outdoor Activities Co-ordinator Adam Reah.

The artistic talents of schoolchildren are helping to tackle dog fouling in Hartlepool.

Two large banners, which are to be displayed at 100-acre Summerhill, have been created from drawings on the subject by primary school pupils.

Some dog owners have come under fire for failing to clean up after their pets when they visit the Hartlepool Borough Council-run site and it is hoped the banners will encourage them to behave more responsibly.

Children from the town’s Rift House and St Joseph’s RC Primary Schools got involved in a competition to design the banners after their teachers attended an open day for school teachers at Summerhill in October last year.

One of the banners has been created around the ideas of India Jeffries, nine, from St Joseph’s who has been chosen as the overall winner, earning her entire class a history heritage educational session at Summerhill as a reward.

Another banner has been based on drawings by ten-year-old David Uchendu, also a pupil at St Joseph’s, who has been named as a runner-up in the competition along with Eve Dobing, nine, from Rift House and Tia Francis, six, from St Joseph’s. They have won a selection of Forest School and Xplorer orienteering sessions at Summerhill for their classes.

Claire McDonald, outreach officer at Summerhill, said: “Dog fouling is a constant problem that creates a potential health hazard and affects people’s enjoyment of the site.

“We are so pleased with the work of the pupils. The pupils should be very proud of their efforts and I hope they enjoy the sessions at Summerhill that they have won.”