Saturday, 26 August 2017

Dog Poo: Get the Message

Just last week I told you about my encounter with an Orton resident whom I had observed throwing a bag of dog poo into a tree. We're getting pretty used to this kind of behaviour in Orton, sadly. But today I learned that it's a big, stinky problem in Ferry Meadows too.

Julie Howell by the dog poo tree
Not what you expect to see when you look up into a tree

In a bold, brave and eye-catching move, the team at Ferry Meadows has 'decorated' a tree and the area around it with bags of 'dog poo' to show visitors how much poo the rangers have to pick up in a single week. Given there are dog bins everywhere you look in Ferry Meadows it really is very disappointing to learn how big this problem has become for the park.

Dog poo sign in English
It would be great to have signs in other languages 

I think the installation is great (not everyone agrees). However, I think there is one key way in which it could be improved. As far as I could see, the only signage explaining the point of the dog poo tree was in English. Very many visitors to Ferry Meadows do not have English as their first language, and some do not speak or read any English at all. To be truly inclusive, and to make sure the message reaches everyone who walks their dog in Ferry Meadows, the Nene Park Trust should create sign language in all of Peterborough's most frequently spoken languages. We take it for granted that everyone appreciates that dangers of dog poo but I'm not convinced that this is so.

Dog poo tree
That's an awful lot of dog poo.

p.s. the bags in this installation contain stones, not dog poo - I checked!

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