Dad in a stink at Peak dog mess

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A doting dad is kicking-up a stink after a visit to the Peak District with his daughter fell well foul of expectations.

Andy Womack, 53, of Retford, visited the Peaks earlier this month for an idyllic walking and cycling weekend with eight-year-old daughter, Molly.

But after encountering so much dog muck on the Monsal Trail he was forced to turn back early – Andy’s weekend began to start stinking.

Andy said: “The trail was just horrendous – like a dog toilet. We counted over 100 piles of excrement in a few minutes.

“It was a nightmare making sure Molly didn’t step in it, and in under half-an-hour we turned round and headed back.”

Andy raised his concerns with the owner of the B&B where he was staying, who advised him that he might have better luck on the Tissington Trail.

Sadly, this was not the case. Andy said: “On the Sunday, we went from Tissington to Hartington along the trail and I counted more than 150 piles of dog excrement on the trail verges before I gave up counting.

“There were also 33 discarded black bags of excrement thrown randomly in all directions.

“Some of the bags were even left hanging in bushes, which begs the question – what is going through the heads of these owners?”

He added: “The authorities have a choice. They must find a way for dogs to mix healthily with children in the park, or accept that families with children will start to stay away if things aren’t cleaned-up.

“The way things stand, my commercial advice would be to start replacing ice cream vans with juicy bone vending machines as the potential revenue would be higher.”

Last month, Derbyshire Dales District Council announced it would be banning dogs from some of its parks and spaces.

Emma Stone, who manages the national park trails, said: “Most people are considerate to others and use the trails responsibly. Sadly there are a few that spoil things for the majority by leaving litter, including dog waste.

“It is unpleasant and unhealthy for people to visit areas affected by dog-fouling which is why we are working with Derbyshire Dales District Council to address the issue on the trails. District councils have legal powers to enforce the duty of dog owners to clear up after their animals on public land.

“We want people to follow the countryside code which asks everyone to leave no trace of their visit.”