Scourge of dog mess spreads to beauty spot

A BEAUTY spot on the outskirts of Hucknall that is a haven for walkers has become the latest area to be blighted by the scourge of dog mess.

A complaint has been made about the state of The Ranges — a site that has been returned to nature after previously being the pit tips for the former Linby Colliery.

Users are partcularly concerned about the entrances, which have become peppered with piles of dog poo.

There are also complaints that litter louts are dumping rubbish at the site.

Coun John Wilmott, a Hucknall Labour member and deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, paid a visit to The Ranges this week.

“It is a mess and action must be taken,” he declared afterwards.

Members of Ashfield Council’s environment team do carry out some clean-up work and there is an active Friends Of The Ranges group.

But the responsibility falls with Notts County Council.

Coun Wilmott added: “It is a matter of urgency that the county council tackles this.

“It’s disgusting. I’ve spoken to a number of residents who thought we were in a position where dog-owners were becoming more responsible and cleaning up after their pets. But it seems to have taken a step backwards.”

Complaints about dog mess have hit the headlines in the Dispatch in recent weeks after the launch of a Facebook-centred campaign by residents calling for a crackdown on the problem.

The crusade was started after a children’s play day at the Washdyke Lane recreation ground in Hucknall had to be taken indoors because play equipment was smeared with dog faeces.

Pet-owners are being urged to take advantage of free dog-poo bags available at the Ashfield Council office on Watnall Road and to make use of bins specifically for dog mess.

Coun Ian Morrison (Lab), of Hucknall, raised the problems at The Ranges just before he campaigned for election as a Hucknall member of Ashfield Council last year.

This week he said: “This is county council land and it should be taking care of it.

“The environmental team employed by Ashfield Council is already overstretched and they do as much as they can, when they can.

“But it is in a state and the problem comes up at every tenants and residents meeting I attend.”

A spokesman for the county council said it was aware of the problems at The Ranges and action would be taken.