Mystery of dog waste dumped at beauty spot

Former Mayor of Ripon John Richmond with one of the carrier bags full of dry dog excrement. (S)
Former Mayor of Ripon John Richmond with one of the carrier bags full of dry dog excrement. (S)

LARGE numbers of carrier bags full of dried dog excrement are being left regularly at a Ripon beauty spot, according to a Freeman and former Mayor of the city.

John Richmond says while they are normally left by a designated dog waste bin, in the latest incident two regular litter bins were filled to the brim with more than 20 bags with another three bagfuls left in a third bin.

“It beggars belief that anybody could do this – they stunk to high heaven,” he said.

“It usually happens about once a month but there has never been as much as this. There was no room left for general litter in the two bins.”

Mr Richmond – who voluntarily helps with the upkeep around the nature reserve – discovered the bags early on Wednesday morning last week and performed the unenviable task of removing them before the reserve became busy with visitors.

“It was awful and a terrible job to do – the bags absolutely reeked and there were flies all over the place,” said Mr Richmond, who was photographed by his wife Barbara who remained inside a car with windows closed to escape the unpleasant stench.

Mr Richmond is now appealing to whoever is leaving the bags of dog waste to stop.

He also intends to ask the Mayor of Ripon, Coun Mick Stanley, whether a notice can be erected at Quarry Moor to dissuade people from the practice.

While the nature reserve is regularly patrolled by two dog wardens from Harrogate Borough Council, the local authority said it had been unaware of the issue raised by Mr Richmond.

But a spokesman said its head of environment and the environmental contracts manager, who is in charge of street cleaning, had now been alerted to the discovery.

The borough council’s last high-profile action at Quarry Moor was three weeks ago when environmental protection team officers, supported by two dog wardens, carried out a ‘flag and bag’ day in which 80 piles of dog waste were cleared up.

During the operation, 22 dogs were seen to foul but all owners picked up after their pets. Officers also returned two days later and issued on-the-spot fines to two dog walkers who failed to clean up after their pets.