A local dog walker has warned that something needs to be done to ensure runners who get caught short in public areas clean up after themselves.
The woman said that she was fed up of her dog coming back covered in human excrement and on one occasion even toilet roll after being taken for a walk.
She said that in one episode even her daughter and a young friend ended up ‘clattered’ while playing at Gransha Woods.
The Western Trust has said they are aware of the concerns raised regarding Gransha and are looking into the access issue.
The local woman said that while there has been a crackdown on dogs fouling in public areas, the greater dangers posed by contact with human waste has not been addressed.
“I am a dog owner and I sometimes walk dogs as well,” she said.
“My dog is a roller. Dogs generally don’t go rolling in the dirt of their own species’ but will roll in others’ and in dead animals etc.
“We used to really enjoy going for walks in the Gransha area but the dog came back covered in poo from one area of the woods so I immediately headed in the opposite direction.
“I had two little girls with me and they were playing in the undergrowth lifting sticks, picking stuff up and they got clattered.
“I was not amused at all,” she added.
The woman said she has been told upon raising concerns that the problem was one that the authorities were aware of and trying to deal with.
“It seems to be common knowledge that this happens, particularly with long-distance runners,” she said, adding that other public areas in the cityside including a local park were also affected.
She said that people needed to be aware that the minority of dog owners who don’t clean up after their animals were not the only ones at fault .
“People complaining about dogs should be aware that there are people out there doing this,” she said.
“People have got to run responsibly.
“They don’t even seem to be covering it up with leaves.”
The woman added that it would be an awful shame if Gransha Woods or other areas had to be designated off limits to the public because of the issue of fouling.
She called for runners to carry ‘poo bags’ or for the local authorities to supply them in case they are caught short while out running, adding that the bags could then be disposed of in the red dog waste bins already in place across the city and district.
A spokesperson for the Western Health and Social Care Trust- which owns the Gransha Hospital site- confirmed they were aware of the issue.
“The Trust is aware of this concern and is working through a number of issues regarding access to the Gransha Hospital site”.