LETTER: Public spaces are for all of us

Your letters
Your letters

I write in response to your article on the issue of dog mess at Horsham Park. The park is a public space for all to enjoy - whether they be walkers (with or without dogs), footballers, or children playing. I understand the annoyance of having to clear dog mess from football pitches prior to a game, but it is the same clear up that gets rid of broken glass and litter (equally able to cause injury or infection to an open wound).

Pitches in public places have to be made safe before a game and that will always be the case. As for the likelihood of a child developing blindness or infection from dog mess, this is extremely rare - a child would have to ingest dog or cat mess infected with worms for blindness to occur.

Responsible dog owners get their dogs wormed and most children know not to put dog mess in their mouth. Creating a fenced off area for dogs to ‘do their business’ isn’t a solution - dogs can’t read and rarely excrete on command.

Walkers take their dogs to parks precisely because they can run free. Those same walkers are often accompanied by young children doing the same. We all have a shared interest in keeping the area clean. Responsible dog owners pick up dog mess and bin it.

Some dog walkers do not clear up dog mess. Some people drop litter. Some people break beer bottles for fun. Some people drink too much alcohol and vomit. Cats and foxes roam the same territory and excrete where they wish. It’s life and it’s part of living in a society where we all tolerate our differences.

Putting more dog bins and litter bins into the park would be a positive way of encouraging people to behave responsibly.

Installing low level fencing around a football pitch (as in Jubilee Fields, Billingshurst) would guarantee a pristine pitch free of dog mess (though not necessarily litter).

Public spaces are for the public - all of us.

ANN-MARIE FREEMAN

East Street, Billingshurst