Harrogate dog poo 'graffiti' - it was our idea, says council

The new anti-dog fouling sign on the pavement at Starbeck in Harrogate.
The new anti-dog fouling sign on the pavement at Starbeck in Harrogate.

Harrogate residents have spotted a new rash of 'graffiti' around town - but it's probably the first 'graffiti' that's in the public good.

Sprayed on the pavement - or tarmac - in as many as 50 spots across Harrogate, the eye-catching 'graffiti' says in big yellow letters "clean it up" with a large image of a dog and a smaller image of dog mess.
And at the bottom it simply says: "Harrogate Borough Council."

After talking to the council, it turns out the stencilled artwork now visible under foot on the ground in the likes of Starbeck, Jennyfields, Pannal, Beckwithshaw and more, is an innovative way of encouraging dog walkers to pick up their pet's mess.

A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said: "The aim of the signs are to be eye-catching and encourage people to pick up after their dogs and prevent dog fouling.
"We try and target known problem areas where we’re aware of dog fouling."

As to the thinking behind making the new sign look like stencilled graffiti, the council says it's deliberate - the aim was to come up with a more effective way of getting their big message across about the little messages left sometimes by people's pets.

A council spokesperson said: "Dog walkers don’t always see posters or information on notice boards so the signs on the footpaths are designed to grab their attention and encourage them to pick up after their dogs."

For any resident worried that, despite the best of intentions, the new council 'graffiti' signs may end up, accidentally albeit, a minor eyesore, Harrogate Borough Council can offer a note of reassurance - the signs wash away naturally after around three to four weeks or after a heavy downpour of rain.

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