York & North Yorkshire

York school's lessons disrupted by dog mess

No Dogs Allowed sign
Image caption Council signs on the field clearly show the area set aside for use by the children

Staff and pupils at a York school say sports lessons and after-school clubs are regularly disrupted due to the amount of dog mess on a nearby field.

The council-owned field, next to Scarcroft Primary, is open to the public, but part of it is set aside for the school's outdoor activities.

Pupils are now appealing for dog owners to take their animals elsewhere.

Pupil Esther Nixon said: "We just end up going inside because there's too much mess. It's really irresponsible."

Scarcroft Primary said games lessons, art clubs and football matches had all been affected by the problem.

'Quite outrageous'

Signs and fences erected by York Council clearly indicate the area of the field set aside for use by the school, but pupils said these were being ignored by some dog owners.

Pupil Lucas Hindle said: "We can put cones on the dog mess but it's not ideal when you want to play football.

"It's not very nice. It's quite outrageous really."

Ruth Wanless, the school's deputy head teacher, said there had been "several occasions" when children were forced to turn back from the field.

Mrs Wanless said while the school did have a playground, the field was "very precious" to the children.

"It's their opportunity to go out onto an open field without playground equipment on it," she said.

Pupil Maddie Goodwin said she hoped dog owners would take heed of their plea and keep off the field.

"There are other people out here who would really like it if there wasn't as much dog fouling," she said.

"They should use the dog fouling bins. They're there for a purpose."

Janet Looker, City of York Council's cabinet minister for communities and neighbourhoods, said she "absolutely endorsed" the appeal.

Owners who fail to clear up dog mess face prosecution or a £50 fixed penalty notice.

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