Fines are being issued to anyone who is seen allowing their dogs to foul on the grass pitches at Ross-on-Wye Sports Club.

Hannah Lerego, who is one of Ross Town Council’s representatives at the Sports Club, told the Gazette that dog fouling on pitches has been a problem for years, but recently, there has been a harsher crack-down on the problem.

The sports pitches are well-used by the Ross Juniors football teams and the Cricket Club, but dog faeces has become a health and safety concern for the 600+ members who use the centre.

Cllr Lerego said that she and other volunteers at the Sports Club have witnessed people drive to the centre, park their cars, and allow their dogs to hop out and run on to the grass to use the toilet. Once they have done their business, the dogs run back into the cars, and the owners drive away.

She added that she and the other volunteers have spoken to some dog owners whose pets have fouled on the pitches, and asked them to clean it up. Some volunteers have even handed out plastic bags to dog walkers. Cllr Lerego said that while some people are apologetic, and pick up after their dogs, others may become verbally abusive or aggressive.

But recently, the volunteers have been taking photographs of the dogs fouling on the pitches, and they have been photographing the owners’ registration numbers. This information is given to an enforcement officer at Herefordshire Council who has the authority to impose fines.

Cllr Lerego added that the Board at the centre are happy for people to walk their dogs near the sports pitches, as long as they keep their dogs on a lead, and pick up their dog waste.

She added that the message is clear - dog owners need to pick up, or pay up.