The dad of a youth footballer in Blackpool has put up a poster on a South Shore playing field to remind irresponsible dog owners to pick up after their pooches.

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Blackpool dad shames ‘lazy’ dog owners with eye-catching poster on poo-plagued playing fields

 

Dave Boyle, whose 10-year-old son plays for a grassroots junior football team at Fishers Field, attached the poster to fencing next to the Fishers Field football pitches in Highfield Road on Monday (September 6). Pic: Stephen Nightingale

Dave Boyle, whose 10-year-old son plays for a grassroots junior football team at Fishers Field, attached the poster to fencing next to the Fishers Field football pitches in Highfield Road on Monday (September 6). Pic: Stephen Nightingale

Dave Boyle, whose 10-year-old son plays for a grassroots junior football team at Fishers Field, attached the poster to fencing next to the football pitches in Highfield Road on Monday (September 6).

The poster says: “Want to start YOGA? Start by bending over and picking up your dog s**t. Known as the downward dog position.”

The eye-catching sign – which features a cartoon dog in the act – is sponsored by Dave’s business Misty to Clear, a local window and door repair service.

He says the idea for the provocative poster came after he and other parents grew frustrated with the amount of dog poo found on the pitch.

“My son plays for a local team and I sponsor them, and I’m just fed up of the coaches having to pick poo up before every training session and match,” said Dave.

“They have to check the grass before every game to make sure it is safe for the kids, and there is always at least 5 or 6 mounds of dog poo they have to bag up and bin.

“It’s just not on. They are meant to put cones and nets up and coach the kids. They shouldn’t have to be spending their time cleaning up after lazy dog owners. Things need to change.”

The poster has received a mostly positive response from the community, with many applauding Dave for taking action on an issue that has maddened those who use the field.

Local football coach Stephen Nightingale, whose son also plays at Fishers Field, welcomed Dave’s initiative and said it has helped draw attention to an issue which has plagued the playing fields for some time.

He said: “My son plays with his football team here and the coaches have to go around cleaning up dog muck every week before they can play.

“It’s only a matter of time before a child is blinded. That’s our main concern. I honestly know a man who lost his sight because he got dog muck on his boots and cleaned it off, but he rubbed his eyes before he had a chance to wash his hands.

“He’s living with that now for the rest of his life. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare and its not something we should have to worry about every time our kids come here to play.

“The poster is great and Dave has come up with a playful way to address the problem, but it is a serious concern.

“We really want to get the message across that it’s simply not OK to let your dog do their business on the pitches and just leave the muck for others to deal with.

“I’m a dog owner myself and I know 98% of dog walkers are absolutely brilliant and wouldn’t dream of leaving their dog’s mess on the field.

“But it’s that small minority who are either bone idle or just plain ignorant. And they are spoiling Fishers Field for everyone else.”

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Stephen added that Blackpool Council have been “great” and have worked with local grassroots football teams to address the issue.

“To be fair to Blackpool Council, they’ve been great. They’ve put up 40 signs on the fencing around the field warning dog walkers that they can be fined for not picking up.

“They’ve even sent the dog warden out on occasion to patrol the field as a deterrent. But their hands are now tied. I think ideally, we’d like the field closed off to dog walkers during the season when teams are playing sports.

“But they told me the only way to make this a reality is by filling in a survey on the council’s website which can influence what measures the Council take.

“I would urge everyone who is fed up with the dog mess to fill in the survey before the October 31 deadline and then we’ll see what action the Council can take.”

The survey Stephen is referring to is part of the Public Spaces Protection Order Consultation 2021 on Dogs and can be found on the Blackpool Council website here.