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Bury St Edmunds woman calls out dog owners after clearing over 150 abandoned poo bags and creates signs urging culprits to see sense



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A woman left in despair at scores of dog waste bags left in and around a wooded area near a Bury St Edmunds estate has cleaned them up herself and left signs calling on the culprits to think of others.

Community litter picker Jemma Noakes walks her dog in the woods near the Mildenhall Road estate and Marham Park and has found the used bags hanging from trees, left in hedges and on the ground.

Armed with a litter pick and her Marigold gloves, the 46-year-old and her dad spent two days clearing the bags and picked up more than 150.

Jemma Noakes created about 12 signs. Picture: Jemma Noakes (55328662)
Jemma Noakes created about 12 signs. Picture: Jemma Noakes (55328662)

However, when more bags appeared, she decided to create about 12 signs which she pinned to trees through the woods and along Mildenhall Road to try to make the culprits see sense.

One said: "Please stop dumping your poo bags – take them home to dispose of them."

Another read: "To whoever is throwing poo bags along the hedge please stop and take it home with you."

Jemma Noakes picked up more than 150 bags in and around the woods near the Mildenhall Road estate and Marham Park in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Paul Derrick
Jemma Noakes picked up more than 150 bags in and around the woods near the Mildenhall Road estate and Marham Park in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Paul Derrick

Meanwhile, West Suffolk Council has revealed it has issued 37 warning letters over dog fouling between 2019 and 2021.

Miss Noakes, who litter picks around her neighbourhood once a week, said: "Just take it home because someone has to clean it up and if you've got the responsibility of a dog, that's just part and parcel of it.

"It can't be very hygienic especially for the younger children who are closer to the ground."

She said most of the signs have been ripped down but this won't deter her from continuing to keep the area clean and will probably clean up any other bags in about a fortnight.

The bags were also left in hedges near the Northern Way Industrial Estate in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Paul Derrick
The bags were also left in hedges near the Northern Way Industrial Estate in Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Paul Derrick

Miss Noakes said she does a litter pick to keep the area 'looking nice' and thinks there should be more bins.

"When I see litter I start getting really angry," she said. "It makes it a more pleasant walk if you see no litter."

Those who do not pick up their dog's mess if it fouls in public areas could be issued with a fixed penalty notice and if they do not pay, could be taken to court and fined up to £1,000.

One of the signs pinned to a tree. Picture: Paul Derrick
One of the signs pinned to a tree. Picture: Paul Derrick

A West Suffolk Council spokesman said most action taken consisted of informal warning letters as they usually 'don't have sufficient evidence such as a witness willing to make a statement and attend court if needed'.

In 2019 it issued seven letters, with 18 in 2020 and 12 in 2021.

The authority also handed out two fixed penalty notices in 2020 for dog fouling offences – one was paid and a successful prosecution was made against the one that wasn't in January 2021.

Another of the signs. Picture: Paul Derrick
Another of the signs. Picture: Paul Derrick

He added there was a bin between the housing estate and Northern Way Industrial Estate where the paths go off into the woods.