A PARISH council in Melksham has joined a popular nationwide campaign aimed at dog walkers who don’t scoop the poop.

Melksham Without Parish Council has joined forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy in a bid to reduce dog fouling in key problem areas in the parish, including Bowerhill, Berryfield, Shaw, Whitley and Beanacre.

The campaign sets its sights on irresponsible dog owners, with recent research showing that dog walkers are more responsible, and pick up after their dogs, when they think that they are being watched.

Last year Keep Britain Tidy conducted a campaign pilot, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, working with land managers across the country.

A pilot campaign last year saw an average reduction of 46 per cent in the levels of dog fouling.

Feedback suggests dog fouling tends to occur at night-time and during the winter months with shorter days, as some dog owners feel that they can’t be seen under the cover of darkness.

Melksham Without Parish Council has signed up to the ‘We’re watching you’ campaign using signs which are visible after dark.

The social experiment was the first time such a material has been used on a poster.

Parish clerk Teresa Strange said: “Feedback from residents has told us that dog fouling is a key issue in the parish that they would like to see addressed.

"We know that the public perceive dog fouling to be by far the most unacceptable and dirtiest type of litter.

“The vast majority of dog owners are responsible people, who habitually pick up after their dog and dispose of the poo bags correctly, either in the nearest bin or by taking home to dispose of in their own household waste bin.

“We are thrilled to be working with Keep Britain Tidy, and being a part of such a cutting-edge campaign.

"We hope that we will see the same results as the other councils and local authorities who have already signed up to the campaign.”