A new scheme in the Yorkshire Dales National Park could see litterbugs and irresponsible dog owners facing fines – or even court action. The pilot scheme in the Lower Wharfedale area aims to tackle some of the anti-social behaviour that impacts on both locals and visitors to the area. Under the scheme – believed to be the first of its kind in England – YDNPA Rangers Phil Richards and Richard Mainman will be trained to assist the Council’s Environmental Protection Team in tackling some of the issues relating to those people who leave litter behind and to dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets.
Currently the Council has powers to issue fixed penalty notices of £75 to people who leave litter behind and £50 notices to dog owners who fail to clear up – and offenders face fines of up to £2,500 and £1,000 respectively if they decide to ignore the notices and are taken to court. All the money is reinvested in the fixed penalty scheme.
“As Rangers we speak to many people during the course of a year about litter and dog mess and the vast majority are very co-operative and responsible in their attitudes,” explains Phil. “But, on occasions, we do experience problems with persistent dog fouling and with litter louts who leave their disposal barbeques and rubbish behind, particularly in Grass Wood and Loup Scar. We are hoping that having the power to issue fixed penalty notices ourselves will provide us with an additional and last-resort option for those thoughtless few who have such an impact on the National Park and spoil the enjoyment of others.”
Any member of the public can complain about dog fouling or littering by contact Craven District Council’s Environmental Protection team on 01756 706355. Where a Fixed Penalty Notice is issued, the Council will follow up with letters and legal action as appropriate. The Council will also join YDNPA on patrols depending on the nature of complaints received.
Click here to read best-selling author Bill Bryson’s column for Walk about tackling litter, and let us know what you think in the comments below!