Ella’s painting a picture of how to tackle dog poop problem

A Lympsham primary school pupil has won a poster competition for her creative drawing, which will help educate local people about the importance of picking up after your dog.

The poster competition, run by Dogs Trust, saw seven-year-old Ella Saxon chosen as the overall winner out of 100 entries after she impressed judge, MP for Wells James Heappey, with her fun and eye-catching poster design to remind people to ‘scoop the poop’ in public places such as beaches and outdoor areas. Two runners-up where also chosen – Joshua Fairchild aged nine and Lucy Taylor aged seven – both from Lympsham Academy.

The competition was run by Dogs Trust and involved pupils from East Brent Primary School and Lympsham Academy who were challenged to design a poster to deter dog owners from ignoring their dog’s waste and encouraging all dog owners to bag it and bin it. Ella’s poster will be made into a sticker thanks to Sedgemoor District Council and displayed around dog fouling hotspots in Burnham-on-Sea and the surrounding area during the summer.

For their efforts, the pupils received a good bag full of Dogs Trust goodies and Ella will soon get to see first hand her winning design around her hometown over the coming weeks.

Emily Brown, Education Officer at Dogs Trust, said:

“Dog fouling affects everyone whether a dog owner or not, so its important to educate young people – the dog owners of tomorrow – on responsible dog ownership and get them actively involved in spreading the word abut the importance of picking up after your dog.

“We were so impressed with all of the pupils’ drawings that picking a winner was extremely hard. Ella was the deserving winner but all of the children should be so proud of their creative drawings and congratulated for all of their hard work.”

A spokesperson at Sedgemoor District Council, said:

“We are delighted to support Dogs Trust in this initiative in the local area particularly as we lead up to the summer months when people will be getting out and about with their dogs. We have so much open space and beaches in Burnham-on-Sea and the surrounding area where owners can come for a paddle in the sea, go for a walk with their dogs and enjoy a picnic - but nobody likes stepping in dog waste whilst doing it!

“With Ella’s stickers displayed around the local area, we’re hopeful that it will raise much-needed awareness about the importance of picking up after your dog and encourage dog owners to be more responsible so everyone can enjoy spending time outside in public places.”

Dogs Trust runs an annual campaign called The Big Scoop which aims to see dog owners take responsibility by picking up after their dogs and reducing the amount of dog mess being left in public spaces. As the summer approaches and more of us take to outdoor spaces with dog four-legged friends, the charity is reminding people that it’s against the law to not clear up after your dog, and anyone caught letting their dog foul could risk being fined up to £1,000.