Since the pandemic started dog poo bins on Ludshott Common have been overflowing with waste (Picture: National Trust / Solent News / Getty)
Dog walkers have been told to take their pet’s poo home with them after bins at a beauty spot repeatedly overflowed with waste.
For the past year, waste bins at Ludshott Common in Hampshire have been filling up faster than staff have been able to empty them.
And once there is no longer any space inside, visitors have been piling the bags up on top – or even hanging them from nearby trees.
Now, the situation at the 735-acre common has become so bad the National Trust has decided to remove all the red waste bins and told dog owners to take their pet’s poo home with them.
Matt Bramich, head ranger for Ludshott Common told the Daily Mail: ‘Due to the huge increase in dog walkers using Ludshott Common in the past year, we have really struggled to keep up with the disposal of dog waste left in our bins, on top of all our other duties.
‘Emptying them costs the charity a lot of money, and we’re still unable to keep on top of the problem – they fill up more quickly than we can empty them.’
Ludshott Common is one of east Hampshire’s largest area’s of heathland and became a popular place for people to visit during lockdown.
Dog walkers had started piling waste up on top of bins and even hanging it from trees (Picture: National Trust/Solent News)
But as visitor numbers have increased during the pandemic, so too has the Trust’s work to keep the area clean and tidy.
Rangers have encountered a number of issues including increased littering, fly-tipping, altercations between dogs and livestock, destruction of footpaths due to increased footfall and more dog poo than bins could cope with.
Matt said: ‘It’s a sad and sorry way to treat a beautiful place like this, and it causes a health and safety risk to other visitors and to our staff.
‘As a charity, we have limited funds for waste disposal, so as a result, we have made the difficult decision that the dog waste bins on Ludshott Common will be removed.
‘We want people to visit the common, to enjoy this beautiful landscape and its wildlife, but we need dog owners to help us look after it by picking up after their dog and taking their dog waste home with them.’
Unsurprisingly Luddshott Common has proved popular during the pandemic (Picture: National Trust / Solent News)
Pets have proved popular additions to families during the pandemic with an estimated 3.2 million households welcoming a new four-legged friend into their homes.
The most popular additions have been cats and dogs, according to the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association.
But as dog ownership has increased so too has the amount of dog waste on the street.
Research by Divert.co.uk, which provides dog litter removal for councils and private landowners has suggested waste has increased by as much as 200% during the pandemic.
Mark Hall, from Divert.co.uk told the Daily Mail: ‘It is disgusting to see that some dog owners are failing to pick up after their pets, when it’s an offence and the waste can lead to serious illnesses.’
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