Does Suffolk have a dog poo problem?
PUBLISHED: 10:03 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:03 15 October 2019
For the Suffolk tourism industry October is a special month.
Each year, the month marks a change in policy for the region's beaches and attracts a whole new kind of tourist.
In October, dogs are once again free to roam Suffolk's beaches.
And in coastal towns like Southwold and Aldeburgh this change leads to an increase in a new kind of tourist as people bring their four-legged friends along on their seaside getaway.
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Angie Brown, operations manager for Suffolk Secrets - the county's largest holiday letting provider - explained there had been a rise in such holidays.
She said: "The popularity of dog ownership and taking your pet on holiday is reflected in our bookings.
"This year 32% of our 70,000 customers have holidayed with their four-legged friends, a significant increase from the 25% who brought their pets with them last year."
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However, the influx of holidaying hounds can create fresh problems.
A recent poll of East Anglian Daily Press readers found around 90% of Suffolk residents thought dog fouling was a problem in their area and council fines were an ineffective deterrent.
To help combat the issue Suffolk Secrets has installed 'doggy poop bag' dispensers outside its offices in Southwold and Aldeburgh to make it easier for dog owners to keep the beaches and pavements clean all year round.
In the last five years the firm has donated more than £50,000 to community and conservation projects and view this new project as an extension of this.
Ms Brown added: "As a responsible local business, we believe we have a duty of care to help keep the places we live and work in as pristine as they can be.
"This is our latest initiative to help with this ongoing commitment."
Aldeburgh mayor Sara Fox added: "I am delighted with this initiative which will undoubtedly help clean and tidy, Suffolk Secrets is an integral part of our business community and we welcome this important move.
While Southwold mayor Ian Bradbury also praised the move and said: "Suffolk Secrets' biodegradable dog-bag dispenser is yet another move towards achieving a cleaner environment for everyone to enjoy."
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