Beautiful woods just a ‘dogs’ toilet’

Witch Wood between Ansdell and Lytham is nature at its best says Coun Ben Aitken (below) but is being ruined by irresponsible dog owners.
Witch Wood between Ansdell and Lytham is nature at its best says Coun Ben Aitken (below) but is being ruined by irresponsible dog owners.
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DOG owners could face tougher sanctions for letting their pets run riot at a Fylde beauty spot.

And law-abiding dog walkers are being urged to name and shame those who flout the rules.

Coun Ben Aitken

Coun Ben Aitken

After dozens of complaints about the state of Witch Wood – which stretches between Ansdell and Lytham – Fylde Council has stepped in to recommend tougher measures be put in place to try and control dog owner’s bad behaviour.

If the rules, which include a ban on taking more than three dogs on the land, fail to work, stricter regulations will be considered – and one councillor is now urging well-behaved dog owners to make sure the minority do not spoil it for them.

Ansdell Coun Ben Aitken said: “I’ve absolutely nothing against people taking their dogs for a walk on the lead, but they are off the lead and you don’t see children playing in Witch Wood because people do not clean up after their dogs.

“It’s nature at its best in the wood but it’s become a dog’s toilet. It’s a problem that’s so difficult to tackle you need the dog owners to do the policing and to report the careless ones.”

As part of the plans – which will be discussed by the council’s scrutiny committee on Thursday – dog patrols will be stepped up, with owners required to put their dogs on a lead if they are asked.

Lytham St Annes Civic Society own and manage the wood and the council is also proposing to work alongside the group to educate the public about the woods, erect new signs warning against dog fouling, and put new bins in place to encourage dog owners not to litter. The society may also receive council money to help with upkeep.

The new regulations will also cover nearby Linnet Wood, in Lytham, which is again privately owned.

The meeting takes place at 6.15pm on Thursday in St Annes Town Hall.

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