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Smelly dog poo bags blighting iconic Suffolk scenery

PUBLISHED: 13:58 13 April 2019

Dog poo bags have been left in trees, on fences and paths in Constable Country Picture: DEDHAM VALE AONB

Dog poo bags have been left in trees, on fences and paths in Constable Country Picture: DEDHAM VALE AONB

Archant

Constable Country - some of Britain's best-loved and most iconic scenery - is being blighted by a smelly and unsightly problem.

Constable country on the Essex Suffolk border Picture: BARRY PULLENConstable country on the Essex Suffolk border Picture: BARRY PULLEN

Experts looking after the outstanding landscape say an increasing amount of discarded “poo bags” – black plastic bags filled with dog’s mess – are being left on paths, fences and trees around the area.

Now they are to carry out a six-week project to survey the number of poo bags left on paths – and try to raise awareness of the issue.

The Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team and the Constable Country Volunteer Rangers will undertake the work, in particular along the path between Dedham and Fen Bridge.

The landscape was made famous by England’s most celebrated landscape painter, John Constable (1776-1837), and is a special nationally designated area.

Willy Lott's home - scene of Constable's most famous work Picture: STEVE COATESWilly Lott's home - scene of Constable's most famous work Picture: STEVE COATES

An AONB spokeswoman said: “Over 200,000 visitors come to the area to follow in ‘Constable ‘s footsteps’ and to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, this is being spoilt by the number of dog poo bags which are strewn along the footpaths, thrown into trees or discarded by the tree guards.

“This not only looks ugly for the people who picnic along the river, but the plastic is a danger to the cows that graze the meadows and other animals. Plastic bags left in the environment can take a shocking 500 years to biodegrade.”

Nigel Chapman, chairman of the AONB Advisory Committee, said: “This project is one way of highlighting the problems with dog mess and plastic dog poo bags in the area. Alongside the ‘I’m a Good Dog’ signage it will hopefully encourage those dog owners who don’t already dispose of their dog poo bags correctly, to ‘Bag It and then Bin It’.”

The six week project, to the end of May, will raise awareness of the poo bag problem and aim to influence a change in dog owner behaviour.

A Winter's Morning in Constable Country Picture: PAUL SMITHA Winter's Morning in Constable Country Picture: PAUL SMITH

The Volunteer Rangers will, in the first two weeks, pick up and count the dog poo bags along the footpath from Dedham to Fen Bridge. In the middle two weeks they will spray the bags with biodegradable spray and leave them in situ to highlight the problem. And in the last two weeks they will pick up and count the dog poo bags again and see if there has been a reduction in the number of bags left.

The river at Flatford Picture: PAUL J COGHLINThe river at Flatford Picture: PAUL J COGHLIN

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