We're watching you! 24 November 2014

Over twenty land managers have joined forces with national environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy in a bid to reduce dog fouling in key problem areas of their towns and cities.

The campaign sets its sights on irresponsible dog owners, with recent research showing that dog walkers are more responsible, and pick up after their dogs, when they think that they are being watched. 

Research suggested that dog fouling tends to occur at night time and during the winter months, as some dog owners feel that they can’t be seen ‘under the cover of darkness’.

Keep Britain Tidy recently conducted a campaign pilot, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), working with land managers across the country. This pilot saw an average reduction of 46% in the levels of dog fouling.

Amongst the 23 local authorities and land managers that have signed up to the edgy and uncompromising poster campaign are Chelmsford City Council, Blackpool Council, Sheffield Amey and Peak District National Park.

The ‘We’re watching you’ poster series are visible after dark and use innovative, cutting-edge materials, which ‘charges up’ during the day to glow in the dark at night. The social experiment was the first time such a material has been used on a poster.

Feedback from local land managers highlighted that dog fouling was a key priority, often due to the high volume of complaints from local residents.

The vast majority of dog owners are responsible people, who habitually pick up after their dog and dispose of the poo bags correctly, either in the nearest bin or by taking home to dispose of in their own household waste bin.

Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Phil Barton said: “We are delighted local authorities and land managers from across the country have signed up and are joining with us on this campaign.

“Our most recent research tells us that people see dog fouling as, by far, the most unacceptable and dirtiest type of litter, and the biggest concern in environmental quality. With more than five million dogs in England producing nearly 600,000 tonnes of waste each year, these concerns are understandable.

“This campaign has been proven to make a difference and encourage the minority of dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets to do the right thing.”

The campaign is the first project to come out of Keep Britain Tidy’s new Centre for Social Innovation, which will be launching in early 2015.”

The ‘We’re watching you’ campaign will launch nationally on 24 November. 

Follow the campaign on Twitter by using #werewatchingyou.

The full list of local authorities and land managers taking part in the ‘We’re Watching You’ dog fouling campaign are;

Chelmsford City Council

Douglas Borough Council

Hackney Council

Hertsmere Borough Council

Rugby Borough Council

Stevenage Borough Council

Blackpool Council

Kettering Borough Council

Wirral Council

Luton Borough Council

Fylde Borough Council

Telford & Wrekin Council

Ashfield District Council

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council

Cambridge City Council

Sheffield Amey

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and High Peak Borough Council.

Stafford Borough Council

Rochford District Council

Reading Borough Council

Peak District National Park

Cheltenham Borough Council

Wellingborough Norse

If you are a land manager, local authority or parish council and would like further information about signing up to the campaign, please email network.enquiries@keepbritaintidy.org