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 Home / About Us / Communication / News / "Bag it and Bin it" Dog Poo Campaign in the New Forest 
"Bag it and Bin it" Dog Poo Campaign in the New Forest «  Back

Thursday 27th October 2005                                                                     

Survey Results Spark New Forest Dog Poo Campaign

The Forestry Commission and the Kennel Club have joined forces to help clean up the New Forest with 'Bag it and Bin it' – a scheme to encourage dog walkers to remove the bits most dogs leave behind.

The scheme has been introduced following a survey of dog walkers that highlighted the amount of poo that dogs leave on the forest and a shortage of places to put it. Now six areas of the forest that came out as favourite dog walking spots – Wilverley, Godshill Cricket, Deerleap, Longslade Bottom, Linford Bottom and Dibden Inclosure – will all be kitted out with litter bins. The dog waste can be put in these bins, providing it is plastic wrapped.

Earlier this year, England Marketing, on behalf of the Forestry Commission's PROGRESS project, sent out 6,000 surveys to random households across the National Park area to gauge the opinions of both dog owners and non-dog owners about dog walking in the forest.

The survey shows that 39% of local residents own one or more dogs, almost double the national average of 22%¹. Based on these figures there are around 27,000 dog-owning households in the area with an estimated 37,000 dogs.

About 75% of dog owners walk their dogs at least once per day on the forest. 68% of people walk one dog, while others walk two or more and average walks last for around two hours.

Considering the number of dogs owned and the frequency of walks, the study reports that about 25,000 dogs are walked in the area at least once a day. Taking into account the pattern of dog walking and the various sizes of dogs, the survey concludes that approximately 9.5 tonnes of faeces are deposited in the forest each day, equivalent to 3,500 tonnes per year – the same weight as 240 double decker buses .

An important part of the survey involved gathering ideas about how to make dog walkers' visits to the forest more enjoyable. Many suggestions were made, including the provision of bins, the education of all forest users and making the dog walking code more widely available. All the comments will be discussed in detail by the PROGRESS stakeholder forum later this year.

The present campaign to 'Bag it and Bin it' is being tried at some key sites and the effects will be closely monitored. At other sites across the forest without bins, dog walkers are encouraged to take their waste home and dispose of it safely.

Keith Campbell, PROGRESS project co-ordinator said, “The Forestry Commission is happy for dog walkers to enjoy the forest. We hope that the 'Bag it and Bin it' campaign will help everyone to enjoy their visit to the forest even more.”

Phil Buckley, external affairs manager of the Kennel Club said, “The Kennel Club is aware that dog faeces is a major issue for the non-dog owning public with regard to complaints to Local Authorities. Also, many responsible dog owners who wish to 'bag and bin it' often have to walk for a considerable distance, or take it home with them for disposal, as there are no bins to do the responsible thing! The Forestry Commission is therefore to be commended for its proactive approach, which will benefit all of those who wish to enjoy the beautiful forest walks.”   

The PROGRESS project (PROmotion and Guidance for Recreation on Ecologically Sensitive Sites) is helping the Forestry Commission develop strategies to manage both conservation and recreation in the forest. The full dog walking report can be downloaded from the Forestry Commission website at www.forestry.gov.uk/newforest.
ENDS

¹  Latest figures provided by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association

Note to Editors:
1. This report focuses on owners/dogs who are resident in the New Forest area and not on visitors. Visitors are covered by a separate survey, which has been undertaken by Tourism South East, the results of which will be announced at a later date.
2. PROGRESS is a €3.7 million (£2.7 million) project 50% funded from the European Regional Development Fund INTERREG IIIB Community Initiative, with the remainder supplied by the five partner organisations. UK partner contribution is also part-funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
3. Partners include the Forestry Commission (lead partner) and its French counterpart the Office National des Forêts, the UK Countryside Agency, French regional tourism organisation the Comité Départemental du Tourisme, and the Dutch research institute Alterra.
4. The project was launched in October 2003 and will run for four years. It aims to develop new strategies for managing both nature conservation and public recreation in the New Forest and France's Forest of Fontainebleau.
5. The New Forest PROGRESS Forum, which will help shape the management strategies, includes representatives from:

Beaulieu Settled Estate NF Association of Local Councils
British Horse Society New Forest Dog Owners Group
Camping and Caravan Club New Forest District Council
Commoners Defence Association NF Equestrian Association
English Nature New Forest livery yards
Hampshire County Council NF Local Access Forum
Hampshire Wildlife Trust New Forest Tourism Association
National Park Authority  RSPB
National Trust  SUSTRANS
Newforce The Ramblers Association
NF Association The Verderers
     
      
For further information contact:
Emma Stevens – PROGRESS communications manager
Tel: (023) 8028 6828
Email: emma.stevens@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

                or

Keith Campbell - PROGRESS project co-ordinator
Tel: (023) 8028 6824
Email: keith.campbell@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

 

 

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