Dog owners in Barnstaple are being reminded to pick up after their pets after parts of Newport have seen an increase in dog fouling.

North Devon Council has had reports of a steady rise in dog fouling in the green spaces and footpaths of Fairacre Estate, Convent Close, St Josephs Close and the play area at Jordan’s Close.

The reports prompted a visit from the council’s environment protection team, and on Monday, February 25, Newport ward member Councillor Caroline Leaver and the council’s neighbourhood officer went on patrol.

The pair spoke to dog walkers about their responsibilities, put up new signs and let local residents know what they could do to help catch those responsible.

Councillor Leaver said Newport deserved better.

She said: “Many residents have told me of their dismay about the amount of dog mess they see on green spaces, pavements and roads.

“As a dog owner and mum I share their concerns. Most dog owners do pick up after their dogs, and understand their responsibilities.

“A small number of dog owners, however, do not clean up after their dogs every time leaving this dangerous and horrible mess for everyone to deal with.

“Often it’s when they think no-one is watching. Sometimes they pick up and leave the bags hanging in hedges.

“It is an offence not to clear up dog foul, and it is not acceptable to leave it.

“Residents in Newport have really helped the environmental protection team by identifying some dog owners who repeatedly do not pick up after their dogs.

“I would like to thank everyone who is contributing to cleaning up Newport, and encourage further reporting of incidents of dog foul being left by owners. Newport deserves better.”

The council said it would continue to monitor the situation, with more environmental patrols.

Failure to clean up after your dog can result in a £100 fixed penalty notice, or a prosecution with a fine of up to £1,000.

The council’s executive member for the environment, Councillor Rodney Cann, said: “We have been working hard to raise awareness of dog fouling, both the negative effects it has on how our district looks and also how angry and upset it makes people.

“We can’t be everywhere at once so we really do rely on our community to help keep it under control - let us know where the problems are, report it to us online and call out those you see failing to pick up their dog’s mess. Join #TeamNorthDevon and follow our Clear Messages campaign on Facebook and Twitter.”