While we welcome dogs and their owners to the towpaths, and the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their dog, there are a few who don't. They leave their dog's mess on the towpaths, spoiling the waterway experience for other visitors.
We want to find a way to stop this happening once and for all. After weighing it up we've devised a fail-safe scheme to clean up the problem. We're appealing for volunteers to come forward and help us man the access points of a 10-mile stretch of canal between Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard.
Any dogs taken onto the towpath will be weighed on and then off again. If the dog has lost more than five per cent of its body weight when leaving the towpath we'll ask to see the evidence in a dog poo bag. If the evidence can't be produced the owner will be given a bag and asked to return to the site of the offence and collect the faeces before leaving.
We've been weighing up this scheme for a while and as long as we don't make a mess of the trial, it could be rolled out across the country.
If you want to help keep our towpaths clean please contact [email protected].
Update at 12.01:
As you've probably guessed by now this is an April Fools' Day story. However, it does have a serious side. Each year we spend over £300,000 clearing fly-tipped rubbish, litter and other waste, including dog poo, from our paths. This diverts much-needed funds away from where they needed most.