Dogs making a mess of Sandridge woodland project

IF YOU go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise – dog mess is becoming a mounting eyesore at our newest natural attraction in Sandridge, Heartwood Forest.

While children, parents and even celebrities have been busy going about their business, volunteering time to plant seedlings to return the huge site to native forest, pets have also been going about their business, fouling an entrance way to Heartwood near the Scout hut at Sandridgebury Lane.

A spokeswoman for the Woodland Trust-owned attraction has urged dog owners to clear up their pet’s mess, so walkers don’t have to worry about dodging dog faeces. However there are no special litter bins to place dog excrement at the moment.

Louise Neicho, site manager, said: “We want as many people as possible both locally and from further afield to come and enjoy Heartwood Forest. Dog walkers are a big user of the site, but people please need to remember to clear up any mess and take it home.

She added: “We will be installing a limited number of dog litter bins in the near future, but in the meantime please do your bit to make sure that everyone can enjoy their visit to Heartwood Forest.”

The site is in the heart of Hertfordshire’s Green Belt and boasts 45 acres of woodland. It is also home to many rare butterflies and the protected English bluebell. Since purchasing 850 acres of land in 2008, the Woodland Trust has opened up 170 acres to the public.

It has organised the planting of thousands of trees in the area in a bid to boost existing woodland by an additional 600,000 trees. The charity also intends creating wildflower meadows and laying miles of footpaths and bridleways to create the largest new native forest in England within easy reach of millions of people.

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Celebrities supporting the Trust’s work in the district include broadcaster Clive Anderson and singer Kim Wilde.