Poo Patrol aims to provide support to community groups that wish to reduce dog fouling in their area.
Although the problem of dog fouling has long been recognised, effective solutions are harder to come by. Legislation is helpful but can be hard to enforce. Community-led initiatives have sprung up in many neighbourhoods and include some very creative approaches. Poo patrol is a place where these local initiatives can share what they do and what works best. We are developing toolkits that you can download and try out. Please let us know how you get on!
Who is behind Poo Patrol?
Poo patrol is a collaboration between communities and scientists. It arose as a small project funded by the University of Bristol’s Brigstow Institute, bringing together social scientist Debbie Watson, epidemiologist Katy Turner and parasitologist Eric Morgan, with community groups in the Easton area of Bristol. Our aim was to trial various approaches to the problem and share the results and the tools so that others can follow. As part of this, we are trying out ways of measuring and monitoring fouling.
Why monitor dog fouling and not just get rid of it?
Of course we all want to get rid of the problem, not just measure it. But by making monitoring part of the action, we can assess how bad the problem is, compare it in different areas, and assess the impact of different interventions. That way, we will learn what works best and make future efforts more effective. Tracking the impact of community schemes also helps to keep people motivated, and get others on board, including local authorities. Therefore our toolkit includes simple ways of gathering standardised information on fouling rates that sit easily within action plans and provide valuable information for little extra effort. We invite you to share results with us when you try these tools out.
Where do we work?
Poo patrol started in the Easton are of Bristol, but we hope that we will be useful to communities in other parts of the UK and beyond, towards our vision of a world free of dog fouling and its negative impacts on health.
What can you do?
If you are in Bristol and want to get involved in the current project here, get in touch. If you are somewhere else and want to kick-start something where you are, get in touch. And if you have questions or suggestions on what we are trying to achieve, get in touch! We hope to build a broad community that shares information, tools and experiences to address and conquer the problem, for our health and that of the next generations.