Everyone needs a hobby

Trent and Mersey canal bank, Hopwas, Staffordshire. 4:31pm, Saturday, 2nd April 2011.

Trent and Mersey canal bank, Hopwas, Staffordshire. 4:29pm, Saturday, 2nd April 2011.

These caught my eye today, cycling the Trent & Mersey canal towpath in Hopwas, Staffordshire. About 40 in all, someone had made little flags, from laminated fluorescent card and sticks, and popped one in at every pile of animal mess. Remarkable, dedicated, and a bit OCD, to be frank.

Everyone hates dogshit, and irresponsible dog owners deserve all they get. Regular readers will know my feelings on this sort of thing. But there’s something a bit unsettling about this; wouldn’t it just be more time productive to bag it up and hand it back to the offender? That’s an awful lot of work. And not all the flags were on dog mess, either. At least three were clearly fox droppings. Good luck with training them…

I mention this now, because in coming weeks, I want to think about stuff like this, litter, flytipping and what we hate, how it manifests itself and what we expect from those who have to deal with it. Dog mess is a nuisance, and we not only have to deal with the raw product where it falls, but there’s now an annoying trend for people to bag it and leave the bags hanging, like some bizarre fruit, from trees, fences and hedgerows. I have no idea what those people are thinking, but please stop it…

I will return to the subject of our environment soon. In the meantime, I salute the phantom flag erector, although I’m not sure I’d want to meet them…

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6 Responses to Everyone needs a hobby

  1. Facade66 says:

    I can guess what the owners who leave the bags along the canal are thinking:

    Something along the lines of

    “Where are the bins?”
    “Surely there will be a bin at the next bridge with decent road access?”

    I realise that the local yobs set fire to plastic bins, but a couple of steel dog do bins that could be maintained from the road bridges shouldn’t break the bank.

    You can go all the way from Chandlers Keep to Chasewater and not see one, and I suspect all the way from Pier street bridge to Bentley Bridge, I’ve never seen one that way. (Unless you go right across the old tip to Clayhanger)

  2. The Edditer says:

    Would have thought that the dedicated modern Poo Patroller should be photographing Mr & Mrs Ploppy with their iPhones, uploading the pix to Flickr and adding a pin to Google Earth for the locations…

    Little flags seem just a bit too Women’s Institute cake sale, somehow…

  3. CAZ says:

    Excellent idea Facade66, as a dog owner myself, l do get my dogs mess up, but l do find it embarassing to then carry it along a public road. Personally l would never just chuck the bags down as that would cause more of a problem. Plastic takes years to break down and looks unsightly, especially when hanging in trees. So strategically placed metal bins near to main road bridges would be ideal and l think would encourage more dog owners to pick up after their dogs.
    Surely they could then be emptied by the weekly bin collectors.

    l suppose the person who put up those little signs meant well and was trying to get a message across, but the laminated signs are going to be around long after the dog poo has disintegrated and at night those sharp corners might create problems for wildlife….maybe l’m being over the top now but but l always worry about animal welfare.

    l’m sorry to be going off the main topic here but on the subject of canal towpaths and bridges, l was sorry but not surprised to see that the newly repaired and painted bridge in Walsall Wood High street [near the fisherman] has once again become the victim of a mindless grafitti moron and not even the talented artistic kind but the offensive vulgar racist kind.l’m sure his or her mother would be extremely proud of their offspring on Mothers Day? Sorry Bob for using your blog to rant.

  4. Rob says:

    I didn’t know the Trent & Mersey now flowed through Hopwas.

    • You’re quite right, I think I meant meant the Coventry Canal, however, OS mapping labels it as The Birmingham & Fazeley, with which I was confused. I’m terrible at canal names.

      Thanks for the headsup, I will check in future!

      Best wishes


      • Rob says:

        I think the confusion is because the Coventry canal leaves the T&M at Fradley Junction but when it gets to Whittington village its name changes to the (Birmingham) Fazeley.

        This was because the original canal builders ran out of money by the time they reached Whittington and a new parliamentary act and new canal company name had to be constituted in order for completion.

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