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Anger over dog poo left on Calne sports ground
Rugby coach David Conway is tired of cleaning up after inconsiderate dog owners who leave their pets’ mess for youngsters playing sport at Calne’s Recreation Ground to step in.
Mr Conway, who is chairman of the youth team at Calne RFC, said the problem is plaguing the club, forcing volunteers to search the area for any mess before a match begins.
The Recreation Ground, at Anchor Road, is a designated dog walking area and is supplied with dog poo bins and signs asking walkers to clean up after pets, but some people are ignoring this.
Last Wednesday 120 children from schools across the town took part in an inter-rugby match organised by Calne RFC and it took 20 minutes to clear the playing fields beforehand.
The situation also became embarrassing when a youngster from Swindon visited to play against one of the club’s youth teams and slipped in some dog poo after being tackled.
Mr Conway, who is also a town councillor, said: “It has been a problem for a long time, but it just seems to have got worse in the last month or so. I think people think they can get away with it.
“It’s not pleasant. It’s bad enough picking up your own dog poo, but picking up someone else’s is worse. It’s quite a lot and if you miss one there’s always that possibility that a kid could slip on it.
“One of the Swindon children who came from the visiting team last week, he got tackled, fell down and fell into some poo. We did apologise to the parents – they came along to watch and they had to take their son off covered in stuff.
“It just gets particularly horrid when children are involved.”
Mr Conway plans to speak to the local dog warden and Calne Town Council, but the problem starts with the dog walkers themselves and he wants them to think about others using the playing fields.
Around 30 youngsters are part of Calne RFC and the club has three small pitches for young children at the Recreation Ground, as well as a main field for the senior team.
Mr Conway said: “We’re not a particularly serious club, but it’s good to have children playing from a variety of ages. It will affect the parents willing to allow them to play sports here.
“If you come home covered in dog poo your parents will say ‘if you want to play rugby let’s go and play rugby somewhere else’. Please pick up after yourselves and remember it’s a shared area.”
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