The Countryside Management Service (CMS) works with public and private landowners, and with communities to develop projects. The aims of these projects are to improve
landscape and bio diversity, as well as encouraging people to understand and enjoy the countryside.
The Parish Paths Partnership (P3) is one of these projects. The aim of P3 is for CMS to work with parish councils, local people and Rights of Way Officers to find ways of improving access to the countryside. This may mean installing better signs, producing maps or removing obstructions like stiles and perhaps replacing them with kissing gates where necessary.
The countryside is a great place to get some exercise and fresh air, but it’s also where we grow our food and it serves as a space for wildlife, too. As part of Kings Langley’s P3, we wanted to do something that would make local people more aware of their rights and responsibilities in the countryside. We started out with the idea of making some signs which pointed out how people could enjoy the countryside without disturbing wildlife, especially ground nesting birds like lapwings and skylarks, while at the same time farmers could produce the food we all need. The message was that people were welcome around the farms, but they should walk ( not cycle ) only on the marked public footpaths and that dogs should be kept under control, especially near any livestock, but also around crops including the grass crop.
Walks with Dogs and Care of the Environment
On the map you will see a heavy concentration of Dog Bins near the canal on the south side of the village. This is because there are quite a lot of dog owners who take their dogs on walks in that area of Kings Langley and most appear to do the right thing and clear up after their pets (there are still some that don’t) but the abundance of Dog Bins in that area appears to have the desired effect.
There are a number of equally popular areas in other parts of Kings Langley with Dog Walkers – one of the most popular being the entrance to our maize field (where there are no Dog Bins) which is got to right next to the Rudolf Steiner School. No surprises to find dozens of dog feces in that area close to the entrance gate.
Dog feces are more than just a nuisance – it can pose a serious health hazard. A number of common parasites, including round worm, are transmitted via dog feces. When and infected dog droppings are left on the ground, the eggs of the roundworms and other parasites can linger in the soil for years. As a result, anyone who comes in contact with the soil also comes in contact with the infected eggs.
Worse still, these droppings are not just on the paths up there on Langley Hill – some owners allow their dogs to do their business in the fields where our herds graze. If a cow that is pregnant were to consume dog feces that can cause the cow to abort the unborn calf.
It would help a great deal if owners please take better care of our land and pick up the droppings in poo-bags and dispose of them at the nearest dog bin – it would also help if Dacorum Council would get their act together and install a Dog Bin or two in that area where we don’t have them at the top of Langley Hill area – as this would encourage some owners to take greater care
Have you seen a dog owner doing this? Walk to the field, let the dog off, look the other way and pretend not to see – then walk on as if nothing has happened? Happens every day.