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Your comments on St Leonard's Forest

2 Stars 2 Stars

Nature's beauty almost entirely ruined by the selfish and arrogant attitude of those dog owners who seem to have designated St Leonards Forest as a public defecation area for dogs. Those choosing to leave behind either mess or poo bags epitomise the small-minded arrogance of all too many dog owners who expect someone else to clear up after them. As for the "stick and flick", that is plain lazy and when multiplied by the apparent volume of dog walkers becomes equally disgusting. Irresponsible dog owners, why not let your dog defecate in your garden? No doubt you don't like dog faeces in your garden. What makes you believe it's fine in public spaces?

IF IT'S YOUR DOG, IT'S YOUR MESS.

The Average Walker, 6/May/2016

We try to encourage all of our dog walkers to be responsible owners and clear up after their dogs, and understand that the forest should be left so that everyone can enjoy it.

Forestry Commission Response

As for having bins along the footpaths, while at first uneducated glance this seems a brilliant idea, the forestry is underfunded like everything else. If you all want to pay a pound each time you walk your dog then I'm sure the forestry would be able to employ someone to empty said bins. Long story short you are talking about commercialising the Forrest! What's next? Adverts on billboards every 20 metres. Grow up, be responsible. Leave the forest as you find it. Thank you x

Anonymous, 29/Sep/2015

If your dog has a motion on a designated footpath, then either flick it into the undergrowth or pick it up in a biodegrable bag. (Foresrtry; maybe, set aside an area for the decomposition of faecal matter in biodegrable bags?). Either way, this should NOT be an issue. If you own a dog, you probably like companionship, if you leave poo for other people and animals to tread in then everyone hates you. Thanks.

Father Nature, 29/Sep/2015

thank you for your comments. we would like all of our visitors with dogs to be responsible owners and clear up after them.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Being a regular dog-walker at Roost Hole, I completely agree with all the comments shared on 12/4/15 regarding the impact of recent changes to the way owners are asked to clear up after their dogs.

I would like to add that I was saddened to see the return of the Poo Fairy posters this week. The Stick & Flick policy, in my view, is more likely to be adhered to by dog owners in the forest environment. I fear that the mound of dog-poo bags by the entrance and elsewhere will only increase as people expect (rightly or wrongly) that if they are asked to clear up, then bins should be provided.

The Forest is such a beautiful place and we are so lucky to have this on our doorstep, we need to ensure that the most appropriate policies are deployed to keep it that way.

Can the decision be reversed to return to the Stick and Flick policy?

Anonymous, 21/Apr/2015

thank you for your feedback. please see the response that the local forester made to the previous comments. We hope that you continue to enjoy your walks at Roots Hole.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We use Roosthole for walking all the time as it offers such a variety of different paths, you can take a different route every day. The Flick with a Stick dog poster and advice on the whole worked well - unfortunately you always seemed to get some irresponsible dog owners who didn't flick it well off the paths into the undergrowth but it was always the main path up from the car park that suffered most from this - all other paths were fine. Youbrecently changed the policy and the poster tonthe dog poo fairy one - There's no such thing as the dog poo fairy, bag it and take it home' What did this achieve? A mountain of dog poo bags left by the noticeboard and dotted up the main path! It's awful One bag mountain was removed and another is now forming along with more dog poo bags along the path and even in trees! The poster has disappeared as well. Roosthole should have the Flick it with a Stick poster and this seemed to work much better for everyone. I know the Forestry Commission can't fund the supply of dog poo bins and their regular emptying so going back to your previous dog poo policy would work better for this particular site. Since the problem is focused particularly on the main path it might be worth making the poster more prominent - ie having it on more than the one notice board.

Anonymous, 12/Apr/2015

thank you for your feedback. The local forester has provided the following response. "The recent notices about there not being a poo fairy was in response to a complaint saying that there weren't any signs advising people what to do with dog poo. It doesn't necessarily represent a change in policy as flicking with a stick is also fine. However, leaving piles of dog poo bags clearly isn't acceptable in much the same way that leaving litter is not. This should be so obvious to any responsible dog owner that I'm not sure more signage along the main path would help - you've probably also notcied how quickly notices are torn down! We will replace the fairy posters with stick and flick posters and see if this helps. Despite the few dog owners who ruin the experience for others, I'm very pleased to hear you enjoy Roosthole car park and St. Leonard's forest in general and I hope you continue to do so. "

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

Spoilt by dog mess along the path. No good having notices about no dog poo fairies.

SUPPLY A BIN! Probably wouldn't go back there.

Anonymous, 24/Feb/2015

We're sorry that this caused you a problem. We're glad to say that most of our dog walkers show consideration to other forest visitors, and we are doing all that we can to encourage all owners to be responsible and clear up after their dogs.

Forestry Commission Response
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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.