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People not picking up after their pets is a plight facing pupils from Unity Community Primary.
The Big Life school, which is based in Cheetham Hill, is fortunate to be surrounded by plenty of outdoor space and greenery. The area is popular amongst dog walkers but, over the past twelve months, Unity’s children and staff were noticing more and more dog waste being left around their school grounds.
The foul problem came to a head when the school’s youngest attendees began to bring dog waste into their nursery classrooms, having found piles outside their nursery entrance. Concerned, students in Year 6 decided to write and illustrate a book to highlight the issue and to encourage people to keep the area that surrounds their school clean and tidy.
The book has since been published by the school who aim to share it with other schools and community groups in the area to help spread the word “Pick up your Poo!”
Along with the book, the school has also had some of their illustrations printed on to large signage which now hangs outside the school gates to remind dog owners to be responsible.
Head Teacher of Unity Community Primary, Jude Lee, said: “Unity is a school with a very strong sense of community which extends beyond our school gates. Children and staff are all extremely proud of our school and their creative response to this issue reflects that.
“Pupils – and staff – were growing increasingly frustrated by the levels of dog waste being left on the grounds and paths around the school. From our perspective, there are obvious health and safety concerns, along with environmental ones. We are all dedicated to keeping our school safe, clean and tidy.”
The school has been working closely with Keep Manchester Tidy, a partnership run by Manchester City Council and national organisation Keep Britain Tidy that aims to bring local communities together to tackle all forms of littering, improve green spaces, increase recycling and reduce dog-fouling in a bid to keep our city clean.
Speaking about Unity’s book, Project Manager of Keep Manchester Tidy, Emma Krijnen-Kemp, said: “We applaud the pupils and staff of Unity Community Primary for highlighting the problem – it is really important for the wider community to hear how anti-social issues like this can so affect our local young people.
“Dog owners have a legal obligation to clean up every time their dog fouls in a public place and we do look to fine those who are found to not be picking up their pet waste. We would ask people to continue reporting dog-fouling, which can be done easily through the Council website.”
For more information about Unity’s book, or to enquire about purchasing a copy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.