Fed-up runner calls for action to tackle Ribble Valley's dog mess problem

Fell runner Stewart Duxbury
Fell runner Stewart Duxbury
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An outdoors enthusiast who loves running and walking in the Ribble Valley says he is frustrated by the increasing amount of dog waste dumped in the local countryside.

Whalley resident, Stewart Duxbury, said: “What is the point? I have been a local fell runner for the past 20 years and still enjoy the sport, but in the last six months I have noticed an alarming number of plastic bags with dog waste inside just hanging from tree branches or left on the side of public paths.

“Why they cannot dispose of the bags in the appropriate bins which are provided by the council or take them home baffles me.”

Stewart, who is also a keen golfer, added: “It’s just getting worse! What I can’t understand is why people do the hard bit – pick up their dog’s poo and put it in a bag – and then just dump these bags in the countryside.

“I’m retired now and do a lot of running and walking so I see it all the time and it’s just so annoying.”

The 67-year-old, who used to live in Hurst Green, and goes on regular walks with his wife Frances, a retired teacher, added: “I’m out and about all the time and it’s so frustrating. It’s always the minority that spoil it for the rest of us.

“Local councillors are aware of the problem and there are signs up all over the place, but I’ve never seen anyone get a fine. I’m not saying that all dog owners are irresponsible, but I’m just trying to stop those who don’t conform.”

In response, Billington councillor Ged Mirfin, says proposals are being discussed by Ribble Valley Borough Council to employ more dog wardens to tackle the “utterly horrendous” problem.

He said: “We are looking at a number of initiatives to combat dog fouling and educate irresponsible dog owners.

“There are plans for more dog bins, better and enhanced signage and the introduction of more dog wardens to patrol the streets/parks of the Ribble Valley to tackle the increasing problem of dog fouling.”

Father-of-three Stewart, who also has one grandchild, used to run a car showroom, workshop and parts department in Blackburn, before retiring.

“Having my own business I didn’t have the time before to get involved in local matters, but I’m now trying to give something back after having received so much from the local area,” explained Stewart, who has volunteered to help with the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership.