BOSSES at Avoncroft Cricket Club have appealed for dog owners to pick up after their pets when walking them on land at the club’s ground.
It follows a number of instances where dog mess has been left on the pitch.
The club’s ground is private land but has a public footpath running through it.
Walkers and their dogs are only legally allowed to use the designated path but some let their pets off the lead.
As well as the mess the wet winter has also meant dogs and walkers not sticking to the path has worsened the pitch’s condition to the point where the club is concerned it may not be in a fit state for when the season starts.
The club’s social secretary Jason Huxley told the Standard: “We don’t mind dog walkers overall – most of them are responsible, stick to the path and pick up the mess which lessens the impact on the pitch.
“It is the minority who don’t that we want to get through to.”
Because of parasites present in dog mess it poses a potential risk to people, particularly young children, of contracting ocular toxocariasis which can cause blindness if it gets into the eyes.
That risk can remain for a long time and Avoncroft Cricket Club has a number of junior teams which play on the pitch.
Members have taken the step of putting up posts and ropes to map out the footpath more clearly and to make it more apparent to dog walkers where they and their pets are permitted to walk.
But those posts have been ripped out and thrown on the ground, making the preventative action ineffective.
Mr Huxley added last year when Avoncroft Cricket Club was broken into and ransacked – causing more than £500 worth of damage – it was dog walkers who alerted the club and it was very grateful for that.
“All we want is people to be sensible and stick to the paths for the good of everyone who uses the area and our teams.
“We pride ourselves on being a community club – we enable so many players of all ages to play the sport they love and we want that to continue.”