Dog fouling ‘just not cricket’ on Woodhall Spa ground

What a mess. The scene at the cricket club's ground last week. Photo supplied
What a mess. The scene at the cricket club's ground last week. Photo supplied

Officials at Woodhall Spa Cricket Club have appealed to ‘disrespectful’ owners to stop dogs exercising and fouling their award-winning ground.

The ground - in Jubilee Park - has again been named as the best in Lincolnshire.

But speaking at a parish council meeting last week, secretary John Luffman said the club was fed up with the problem.

He acknowledged many owners picked up after their pets but stressed the residue left behind presented a serious threat to health. He also said dog urine ‘killed’ grass.

Mr Luffman said: “I am not a dog hater. The problem is more a human one. You cannot blame a dog because it will always follow its master.

“We (the club) are all volunteers and when we turned up at the ground last week, the first job was to remove dog excrement.”

Mr Luffman explained the club had tried to reason with dog owners.

He said: “We have told them the cricket field is a recreational green space for the purpose of playing sport by many seniors and juniors and it is not a dog exercising yard.

“You can image the reaction covered the whole spectrum...‘I’ll exercise my dog wherever I like and you won’t stop me...I pay my council tax so this is my ground...I fought in the war so it’s my right....who are you? You’ve no right to tell me to what do.’

“Of course, they all say they pick their mess up but the residue is still a risk.”

Coun Rich Sanderson said he sympathised with the club and asked whether they had considered fencing off the ground.

Mr Luffman said fencing had been considered but the club was keen not to deter the hundreds of people who walked across the field - and families who often held picnics. He stressed the club was not against dogs on leads at the ground.

Coun Shirley Williams admitted she used to exercise her dog at the ground but had now stopped. She said a problem was the lack of suitable places in Woodhall Spa to exercise dogs, especially off their leads.

Mr Luffman was involved in a ‘spat’ with Coun Spencer Phelan who defended his right to exercise his dog at the ground.

He said Jubilee Park was bequeathed to ‘the people of Woodhall Spa’ but the many clubs based there meant it was increassingly off-limits to locals.

He added: “It’s not The Oval - it’s a ground in a public park.”