A TROWBRIDGE town councillor has praised dog owners for picking up dog poo when exercising their four-legged friends on the Seymour Recreation Field.

Cllr Edward Kirk says there has been a "90 per cent" improvement on the state of the field since his last visit to clear the mess left behind by dogs and their owners.

He said: "There was very little dog mess, it was down to less than 10, which is a reduction of 90 per cent compared to when I did it before the signs I made went up and I cleared over 100 from the field.

"However, I’m not sure it will be the same on the pavement areas and green spaces around Seymour estate and Delamere Road when I go there in a couple of weeks.

"However, well done to dog walkers in Seymour. I am pleased to see such an improvement and, as one dog walker said, 'we should be proud of carrying a dog poo bag in our hands'."

Cllr Kirk organised the clean up on the sports and recreation field on Sunday, accompanied by his two daughters Emily, 21, and Felicity, 16, who acted as 'spotters'.

He added: "Once Felicity was out of bed she was a useful spotter - 7.30am on Sunday is not an ideal time for Felicity - but she actually enjoyed instructing her dad to pick-up dog mess.

"We just walked up and down in straight lines until we had cleared the field. Regrettably, whilst my signs have reduced dog fouling they have not eliminated it.

"There remains an ongoing issue with the enforcement of penalties but evidence is now gathering at a pace and hopefully a prosecution will follow shortly.

"In the meantime, it still remains necessary to clear this area for children’s safety."

Cllr Kirk says the Seymour Recreation Field is used by local children for recreational activities, including football.

"Last time I did this, about a year ago, there was dog mess in the children's play area. This time, it was much better than I thought it would be.

"Dog mess is a serious health hazard. It is a real public concern. We don't want the children sliding around in dog poo."

Dog fouling is a major concern for many people across the UK, and the problem is growing. It has been estimated that there are around 8 million dogs in the UK, and that these dogs produce over 1,000 tonnes of faeces each day.

Children are particularly at risk if they are playing in areas where dog poo has been left on the grass, or on a pavement or other hard surface.

Dog mess can lead to Parvo, which is a potentially fatal disease which is transferred between dogs, but the key health issue with dog poo is that it can lead to toxocariasis in humans. This can cause serious illness and can even lead to blindness.

Cllr Kirk says that enforcement is a problem but he has a team of people on the estate who are ready to report dog owners who leave mess behind when walking their pets.

Irresponsible owners who fail to clear up the mess left by their dogs are risking a potential maximum fine of up to £1,000.

To report doug fouling, call 0300 456 0107 or email dogfouling@wiltshire.gov.uk