Devon

Disabled man's anger over Braunton Burrows dog fouling

Barry Bassnett on Braunton Burrows
Image caption Mr Bassnett said he had picked up about a tonne of dog mess in a year

A 64-year-old man has criticised "irresponsible" dog owners for ruining a unique landscape in north Devon.

Barry Bassnett said dog mess was spoiling the beauty of Braunton Burrows which is Britain's first Unesco biosphere reserve.

He has been using his disability scooter to go out and pick up the mess, but is now calling for action to be taken.

Braunton Burrows has one of the largest sand dune systems in the UK.

The burrows is owned by Christie Devon Estate Trusts‎.

Christie's agent, Raymond Coldwell, said dog bins at the burrows public car parking area were removed two years ago when the car park was no longer supervised.

"The car park is free and although it's a huge tourist attraction, it doesn't generate any income and we can't justify spending the money," he said.

Mr Coldwell said he both sympathised and agreed with Mr Bassnett.

"Sadly people don't treat places correctly," he said.

"This is a public area and if the council was to consider providing a bin service, we would be more than happy to work with it."

In a statement, North Devon District Council said it had no plans to install dog litter bins, but it reminded dog owners they could face fines and possible court action for allowing pets to foul the area.

Image caption The diversity of the area's flora was recognised by Unesco in 2002

A council spokeswoman said there are 100 dog bins across north Devon and due to current budgetary constraints it could not provide any more.

The dunes and the importance of its 500 species of flowering plants was recognised by Unesco in 2002.

"To think that people can come out to such a beautiful place and spoil it and soil it for others who come is appalling," Mr Bassnett told BBC News.

He said in the past 12 months he personally has picked up and disposed of "at least a tonne" of dog mess.

"How they can actually leave it on a pathway where they know children are going to play and run upsets me terribly," he said.

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