Four-year-old's campaign to clean up Ripon could go nationwide after overwhelming response

Isla Freeman (4), Sophie Attwater-Dunn, Amelia Williams (3 months) and Liam Williams.(1702063AM2).
Isla Freeman (4), Sophie Attwater-Dunn, Amelia Williams (3 months) and Liam Williams.(1702063AM2).

Ripon's very own Isla Freeman wants to take her campaign to rid the city of dog fouling nationwide, after an overwhelming reaction to the four-year-old's appeal.

Fed up with the mess along her favourite footpath that runs beside the river Skell from Bondgate to Barefoot Street, Isla designed and put up posters to raise awareness of the issue.

Since featuring in the Gazette, Isla and her family have been stunned and delighted by the demand for posters to be put up across Ripon, and beyond - with requests coming in from Starbeck, Jennyfields and even from as far as Northallerton and Littlethorpe.

Isla's mum Sophie Attwater-Dunn said: "We can't keep up with the responses we're getting from people, it's amazing. We didn't realise just how many people are bothered by dog poo in their area, and this sort of response just shows that someone needed to take that first step and do something.

"We have had loads of people messaging, loads printing and helping to laminate them. We've had another 100-150 posters made since the article went out. Isla would love it if her campaign went everywhere and nationwide. She keeps saying to us, 'I want my poster to be everywhere'.

"People have been stopping us on the footpath asking, 'are you Isla'? But she's still a bit oblivious to it all. She's said that people are listening to her, but I don't think she maybe realises how big this has got.

"A lot of people complain about dog poo but don't necessarily speak out about it, so it's good that people are getting involved and doing something about it. We will take it as it comes to see where we go next with Isla's campaign, because it started with one poster and we didn't think that it would get this big anyway."

In Ripon, Isla has had requests for posters in areas including Whitcliffe Lane and Lead Lane, with demand continuing to grow.

Sophie said: "A lot of people have said it is really good the fact that it is a four-year-old doing it, they are very eye-catching posters. I think it makes people stop and look at it - the fact that a child has done it as well means that people might think, if she's doing something about it, then maybe we should.

"Some people have called Isla the dog poo fairy, as her posters have said 'there's no such thing as the dog poo fairy'. We really appreciate everyone's support and the people who have put up posters, printed and laminated them. It's crazy to think that this has all come out of one poster that we drew up.

"She is definitely going to do big things that girl, we're very proud of Isla."