AFTER a rise in the number of dog owners failing to clear up their pet’s poo at a popular playing field, a town trust is looking for solutions to tackle the problem – which could include walkers having to keep the animals on a lead.

Leaders at Chipping Sodbury Town Trust, which manages the Ridings Playing Fields, told the Gazette they are keen to prevent dogs from fouling there, but that it’s challenging because the land – home to a number of sports clubs – is open to the public.

“We have responsibility for the fields so if anything happens then it is down to us,” said David Shipp, trustee.

“The trust have been working really hard to try and prevent problems with dogs.

“I get contacted by people that are really concerned about the amount of dog fouling.

“We know that most of the people that use the fields are responsible and that they clear up after themselves but it is the irresponsible ones that we need to try and catch.”

The trust supplies free poo bags at numerous spots around the fields for dog walkers, costing them over £2,000 every year.

Mr Shipp told the Gazette that the trust has made a suggestion to Sodbury Town Council regarding the problem, which would see a ban on dogs being allowed off their leads at the playing fields.

“It is visually an issue, it is dangerous for the animals, it is costing the trust a lot of money that could be spent on other things and also it can be dangerous for the children and adults that use the playing fields regularly,” said Mr Shipp.

Owners who fail to pick up after their dog can be prosecuted.

Earlier this month a man from nearby Cam was ordered to pay £1,077 by Stroud District Council after failing to clean up after his dog. Ben Richards, 27, of Brunel Road, was penalised after two council wardens saw his dog fouling on the green and he refused to clean up the mess.