1.    No one, not even dog lovers, like treading in dog poo. A pile of poo can take a year or more to fully breakdown.
 
2.    Parents don’t want to have to avoid a park or recreational areas because of the risk of their children treading in or worse, falling in poo.
 
3.    All poo contains bacteria that can cause an upset stomach if ingested. The biggest risk, however, is Toxocariasis which is an infection caused by round worm. Poo can contain thousands of eggs which can survive for up to 3 years in soil – a good reason to wash your vegetables! It can cause abdominal pain and a fever, and larva can also reach the eyes causing visual impairment or even blindness in severe cases.
 
4.    Many dog owners in this area walk their dogs in the Royal Parks. Richmond Park has the largest area of lowland acid grassland in Greater London, which contributes to the Park’s status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Bushy Park also has this special habitat, that is home to a specialised wildlife community, so it is very important for biodiversity. Acid grassland depends on the relative infertility of the lime-poor acidic soils it grows in. Unlike deer poo and urine, Dog poo and urine increases the levels of phosphorus and nitrogen in the soil which increases the nutrients in the soil. This is not suitable for acid grassland. Aerial shots of the parks show that the structure and composition of the grassland around car parks, where dogs tend to poo and urinate the most, are visibly different.
 
5.    Unfortunately, worming pills that are present in dog poo, is also likely to kill insects in the park.
 
6.    It is illegal to allow your dog, or any dog you are in control of, to poo on the footpath or any other land open to the Public. Failure to clean up after a dog in your charge will lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice, similar to a parking ticket, for £80, or prosecution, which may lead to a fine of £1,000 plus costs. It is not an acceptable defence to claim ignorance of the dog’s actions or that you did not carry means to dispose of the fouling at the time. 
 
SO PLEASE BAG IT AND BIN IT (in biodegradable bags)
 
Download LBRuT responsible dog ownership leaflet