Yesterday, the Teign valley wardens installed a new Dog poo bin at Finch Foundry, according to one passer by, the only one in Sticklepath.
Popular walks exist from the foundry up Skaigh valley to Belstone and on the two museums route to Okehampton, both are well used by walkers and their dogs- with all which that may bring...
The picture shows a cheerful Roger Boney (custodian of Finch Foundry) and his new acquisition. This particular model of bin is lockable (presumably to prevent someone stealing the contents) and Roger has just been presented with the key by way of an opening ceremony.
A quick word on Dog Poo and the National Trust policy on poo bins and the like.
Dog Poo represents one of the more unpleasant aspects of our job as wardens. We are constantly flabbergasted at the attitude of some dog owners over their pets "leavings". Dog owners by and large fall into categories;
1. The "I'll leave it it's not my problem" category- this is often acheived by walking ahead of the dog so that they "didn't realise" what it had done....we are all grateful to these people for making our footpaths such pleasant places to walk.
2. The "pick it up and take it home" category- the truly responsible dog owner who is careful to scoop the poop and place it in the nearest bin or take it home.
3. The worst sort, the "bag it up and hang it on a bush or leave it on the verge" category. We can never understand why people go to all the trouble of picking up poo, carefully bagging it in a container that won't decompose for 10,000yrs and leaving it in the countryside, better to be part of category 1 because at least the beetles and bacteria will get rid of it.
Our campaign every summer for the last couple of years has been the promotion of a 4th way-
"Flick it with a Stick"
If you are a member of categories 1 or 3 (if in 2 keep up the good work it does not go unappreciated) and are really not prepared to take responsibility for your Dog poo then follow the above mantra to remove the nuisance (and health hazard) away from the paths and verges where children play and wardens regularly strim...
Many people ask why the National Trust don't provide dog poo bins at more of our countryside sites;
1. They are expensive (the bin at Finch Foundry cost £250)
2. They are unsitely-lumps of metal on poles are not naturally found in our Nations beauty spots.
3. They take time and money to empty- Dog Poo is classified as "special waste" meaning it is hazardous and can only be handled and disposed of by trained (and therefore expensive) personnel.
4. We would much rather that dog owners could learn to adopt total responsibility for their dogs rather than the "someone else can do it" attitude.
We will only put dog bins in place where absolutely necessary and where it will not detract from the area.