Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Crap signs are actually crap

The question is: does it actually achieve anything?
Or does it just result in creating conflict and resentment? 
Does threatening a £1,000 fine achieve anything when no one is even reprimanded?

Having walked up Gill Banks twice in recent days - I believe I've some valuable observations to make! You will recollect that this is the much used, enjoyed and complained about path that constitutes the infamous beginning of the Cumbria Way.

The problem is: it is plagued with dog shit left by irresponsible dog owners.

So how do you influence their behaviour?
Do idol threats work?
Or is there an alternative approach?

Hours and hours of official time have been spent by SLDC officers: Councillors time stating something really needs to be done. Residents time along the lines "why don't 'they' do something": we need a bye-law: it's a health hazard: it's a disgrace. If you added all this frustrated time up spent by endless groups of neighbours talking endlessly in little groups and considered the damage to public health that has been endured by those that get worked up about the issue (it's killing off our children with the danger of a vicious disease). Then add to this the pages of newsprint and reporter time spent cashing in on the topic to sell papers.

I now have a wonderful solution to offer:

One I put into effect last Thursday and is working like a dream today, Tuesday when I returned after five days away to find the paths are practically dog shitless after spending 15 minutes of effort the previous Thursday. Solution:

Do it yourself

It was done with a swing. One shit bag and off you go. Pick the shit up and lob the contents, not the bag, into the nearby stream. On to the next dollop - pick up, lob with a swing, - walk, pick up, lob with a swing - etc. Keep going from one end of the path to the other. I could keep up with my fellow walker and cover the ground at great speed - pick up, lob, - walk, pick up, lob. About twenty lots of the stuff - no longer there!

The virtue is it's one of those win- win  situations we all dream about. By the end of my time covering the whole length of the path, I felt good - very virtuous - gentle exercised - stress free - not annoyed - and the clean path looked great in contrast to the mess it had looked before.

Returning today the path was practically spotless - the gentle rain had helped. All for the expenditure of 15 minutes of lobbing shit from one place to the other.

Now - stand back for the criticism:  - "You can't do that : the bagged shit has to go in the bins" - How ridiculous is that?

Now, for the ease of achievement this is the solution for me - and it works. Total success - stress, frustration and annoyance free.

It supports the theory that rules and regulations don't work. That telling people off achieves no change what-so-ever . By contrast it's very 'good feel'  psychology. Try it - Believe it or not - you'll actually enjoy the feeling - it's win-win therapy. We all need it! All that's required is one poobag and a good aim.

One warning - avoid walking on my left: but on my right as I go up the Gill. Could be referred to as walking on the shitward - not pleasant.


Anonymous said...

I can understand some negative people will want to immediately criticise. However wrapping up excrement in plastic bags and processing it through the waste disposal system does seem excessive when there is a fast flowing stream nearby. The amount of pollution is minute in a fast flowing stream and will be quickly broken down by the air present. Good lateral thinking I say. Well done.

Geoff Dellow said...

This dog shit should never happen in the first place. There are clearly irresponsible people who don't pick it up. However negative notices with no enforcement - which we can't afford - doesn't work. The way to achieve what we want is to develop a culture where people would feel uncomfortable if they stepped out of line with the rest of us. This will be done by having a network of relationships with a lot of talking between people going on. Instead we hide inside our houses and do Facebook. What we need is more eye-to-eye straight talking - this really works. Something that many people have lost the ability to do.