FORESTRY workers looking after a popular wood near Hereford have come up against a very stinky problem.

Haugh Wood, in Herefordshire, is a popular destination for families and dog walkers.

But, Forestry England has said, staff who look after the woodland "have come up against a very stinky problem". 

It is one that has been classed by some as ‘careful littering’, a Forestry England spokesperson said, but there is nothing careful about this offering.

So, what’s the issue?

Piles of bagged dog poo are being left on forest paths and in gateways at the popular spot.

"These bags remain open to elements and pose a threat to other dogs, wild animals, and birds," the spokesperson said.

"It also is one of the first things visitors see and is not a pleasant sight or smell and causes a hazard for Forestry England staff to clean up."


Kate Wollen, Assistant Ecologist for Forestry England said: “With spring just around the corner and in the warmer weather, mess like this will become a very putrid and an unsightly welcome to visitors. Taking time to collect and bag this waste is not pleasant and takes our time away from important work ecological work in this special woodland.

"We intentionally have not placed a dog bin at this site due to operational constraints and we have no plans to do so in the future.”

Some dog owners have been responsible enough to take dog poo bags with them on their walk and have carefully picked it up, but some then abandon the bag mid-path or carefully hanging in a tree, Forestry England said.

Others go to the length of carrying for the duration of their walk, but when it comes to leave, they appear to fall at the final hurdle, opting to add it to a pile of bags assuming that someone will be along to pick it up.

Hereford Times:

Will Forestry England be installing more dog bins? 

Many Forestry England woodlands have dog bins which the organisation pays to install, empty, and maintain.

"We regularly review the number and locations of these, but each additional bin takes money away from other important work, such as such as trail maintenance, path improvements, and wildlife protection," the spokesperson said.  

Why can’t I ‘stick and flick’ if I’m away from the car park and footpaths? 

Even in the deeper parts of the forest, dog poo flicked into the undergrowth can harm wildlife and change the wild plants on the ground.

It is also hazardous to our staff when they are working in the forest as machinery can fling it up.

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The simplest way to make sure that your dog’s mess never causes any harm, is to bag it and bin it, every time.  What can dog owners do?

"Responsible dog owners should always clear up after their dog, double bag if needed," the spokesperson said.

"We find it's often handy to keep an old ice cream container in the boot of the car to transport filled bags and dispose at home alongside your." household waste.