The Marian has provided the historic town of Dolgellau with its main green space for generations and is a notable feature of the town. It was given in trust to the people of Dolgellau in 1811 and has been the focus of the town's leisure activities ever since.
However, there is concern that a persistent minority of dog owners are failing to clean up after their pets in the area. This comes despite Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns initiative offering free poop bag kits, together with providing warning signs and dog waste bins. The area is also patrolled regularly by Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement Team.
Dwyryd Williams from the rugby club said: “Despite there being dog waste bins around the Marian a number of dog owners just ignore them. This is very frustrating for the club as every Saturday club officials have to inspect the pitch in an attempt to clear the dog dirt, but even so, referees sometimes have to stop games to remove faeces. This situation threatens the health of the junior players especially, who also train on the Marian.”
Stephen Parry, of the football club, says they have similar problems.
He said: “The club were recently playing a cup match when during the first half the referee had to stop the game to remove some dog mess.”
Councillor Linda Morgan, who represents South Dolgellau on Gwynedd Council said that Dolgellau Town Council have recently received 22 complaints regarding dog fouling: “The situation with dog dirt on the Marian playing fields and paths is really worrying. It is so unfair on the sports leaders and volunteers who have to pick up before every match – and recently having to stop a game three times to pick up dog faeces.”
Coming into contact with dog faeces can cause ‘toxocariasis’ which can lead to serious illness and even blindness.
Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council’s Senior Environment Portfolio Leader, added: “Dog mess in public places, such as pavements and parks, causes more distress than any kind of environmental crime. As a Council we want to work in partnership with local residents who take pride in their local environment and to ensure that dogowners take responsibility and clean-up after their pets.
“There is no excuse for failing to clean-up after your dog - such behaviour is totally unacceptable.”
During 2010-11, Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement Team issued 185 fixed penalty notices for dog fouling and litter offences.
What can you do?
If you’re a dog owner make sure you always carry plenty of poop-scoop bags with you when you walk your dog. Wrapped dog mess can be put in a public bin or take it home and dispose of it responsibly. To request a free dog-poop bag dispenser, contact Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns Officer on 01766 771000 or e-mail email@example.com
Name and Shame
The public can also help by reporting those responsible by contacting Gwynedd Council’s Street Enforcement Team confidentially on 01766 771000, or by visiting www.gwynedd.gov.uk/do-it-online
Gwynedd Council’s Tidy Towns Initiative is sponsored by the Welsh Government.