School backs city efforts to tackle dog mess

Pupils from Marlborough Primary Academy show off their dog poo bag dispensers with Councillor Jemima Laing and Caroline Fiske from Street Services.

A local school is backing Plymouth City Council’s ongoing efforts to tackle the issue of dog mess in parks.

Pupils at Marlborough Primary Academy have made their own dog poo bag dispensers out of recycled plastic bottles, which they are placing in Devonport Park (fixed to fences), filled with dog poo bags for people to help themselves, to try and educate local dog walkers into picking up their dog’s mess.

Pupils created the dog poo bag dispensers with a plea to dog walkers to clear up after their dogs, bag and bin their dog’s mess.

The Council has an ongoing campaign and pledge to tackle the issue of dog mess, working with local responsible dog owners, and a few months ago several local dog walkers took part in a series of videos to help get the message across and make people aware that they can face a £100 fixed penalty notice if they fail to pick up. The pupils’ initiative of re-using old plastic bottles to turn them into something useful also supports the Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City Plan for Plastics in addressing plastic pollution and single use plastics.

Thomas Charnock, age eight, said: “We don’t want poo in Plymouth so we wanted to help dog walkers that forget poo bags.”

George Collins, age seven, said: “We loved making the poo bag dispensers because we want to keep the streets clean.”

Lauren Millar, Year Three teacher, said: “Our class have loved seeing the impact that their learning has on their community. We have visited our local library, residential home and now support the gardener’s at Devonport Park. We felt that this was an important place to start when tackling this issue as it is a space which many of them use and enjoy.”

Councillor Jemima Laing, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People for Plymouth City Council, said: “I’m so impressed by how much these young people care about their park and by their commitment to help tackle the issue of dog mess.

“Often our children and young people really do have the best ideas so I’m delighted to meet them and find out more about the scheme. It’s also great to see them turn a single use plastic bottle into something really useful like a dog poo bag dispenser.”

Councillor Sally Haydon, Cabinet Member for Customer Focus and Community Safety for Plymouth, said: “Well done to the children at Marlborough Primary School for taking this initiative, which we fully support.

“Tackling dog mess in our parks and streets is a high priority for Plymouth City Council and is one of our pledges. This school’s project complements the ongoing work we are doing in partnership with responsible local dog owners to tackle the issue.

“The vast majority of dog owners are responsible and will clear up after their dog’s mess. But there are a minority who don’t clear up and give other dog owners a bad name.

“There are also fixed penalty notices of £100 for those owners who do not clean up after their dog.

“Pick it up. Can you afford not to?”

Tayla Gaunt, age seven, added: “We want to keep the streets nice and clean, not filled with dog poo. So we decided to make poo bag dispensers.”

Reporting dog mess

To report issues with dog mess, visit

Please include as much information as possible including time, location, photograph and any details you might have about the dog owner.