Dirty Dogs Campaign: Churchdown, Gloucester: the Dirty Dogs Capital of Britain: Announcing the winners of our competition

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Indy Lifestyle Online
THE well-chosen 100 words on the right, supported by 146 signatures (many from dog-owners) persuaded our judges to appoint Churchdown, Gloucestershire, the Dirty Dogs Capital of Britain. The two nominators, Ruth Warne and Judith Dorman, will be travelling to New York in the autumn for a long weekend in the Clean Dogs Capital of the World, accompanied by Ruth's husband Robert, and Judith's father, David. Ruth and Judith are founder members of SNAPS (Safeguard Neighbourhood: Apply Pooper Scoopers).

The award (a hand-drawn certificate by cartoonist Paul Thomas) was accepted by John Ginley, vice-chairman of Churchdown Parish Council, 'with regret. We have spent money on signs which get broken or pinched, we supply scoops, but people in Churchdown still let their dogs foul where they shouldn't. Our dog warden is very good but she can't be everywhere at once.'

'You have to look down, not up - it's wrong,' added Pearl Stokes, chairwoman of the Amenities and Rec division of the council. 'The local football team managers have to go out and clean up the pitch before they can play. I hope the people of Churchdown read this and take heed.' On the playing fields outside the council offices, after the presentation of the certificate, a large brown dog was squatting in the far hedge.

Honourable competition mentions go to Chris Bocci, of Freshford, near Bath, who identifies 'Freshford Neck' syndrome (symptoms: neck ache, rounded shoulders, bruised forehead) caused by looking down rather than ahead while walking; R L Walker, of Blackpool, for his holiday brochure for dog-owners ('If you come by car to empty your dog, you will find parking is easy'); and Edward Cusick, of Carnforth, Lancs, for his heroic campaign in his local town which he says has 'cured it all]'

The Dirty Dogs Campaign team will continue to lobby over the summer.

THE WINNING ENTRY 'What mysterious, ancient rituals are observed as Sirius the dog-star passes over Chosen Hill? Too numerous to count, perfectly aligned, the rising sun illuminates previously undiscovered coproliths, evocative of Avebury, Silbury Hill . . . We tread carefully to avoid desecration of the sacred mounds, rebuilt over centuries, constant yet changing. Recently unearthed evidence suggests that primitive creatures placed them here, led perhaps by superior beings? This process has continued unchallenged throughout our dark brown ages. Now, stirred by Independent thought, guided by Sirius, we turn to the New World, to a center of inspiration for those who seek to scoop the poop.'

(Photograph omitted)