A busy task day in pleasant sunshine was a little marred for us today. We were very disappointed to have to fill 4 bags with dog mess from around the flowerbeds before we could make a start on maintenance.
Unfortunately over the next 15 minutes we had problems with several dog owners. The first let his two spaniels out in the car park. Full of energy, they crashed through our flowerbeds many times before one of them crapped amongst the plants. While the owner picked up, the other dog continued his running through the beds breaking off daffodils. After suggesting to the owner that he keep his dogs on a lead until past the flowerbeds, and he replied "fair point", they continued on their trail of destruction into the War Memorial Beds, where the second dog crapped. So the owner then had to walk into the bed himself to clear up while the pair of them continued to burn off energy crashing through the low hedges we planted last year.
The next one was a lady whose dog crapped near the beds but she was too busy talking on her phone to notice. When this was pointed out to her she picked up but without apology or acknowledgement or interruption of her phone conversation.
We then had another lady who allowed her dog to crap in a flowerbed and on the edge of the border. She picked up but when asked why she needed to let the dog crap on the beds because we have to kneel there to maintain them she didn't seem to understand our concerns. While this was going on her second dog, a small Jack Russell type, continued wandering happily through the beds taking no notice of her efforts to call it out. When told what we thought of this and that her dog should be under control she said she didn't like my rudeness (the word crap was used several times) and although she supported what we did in the park she wasn't sure if she could continue to do so. Well this is the kind of support we can do without!
Then just when things were calming down and we were getting back to work another owner with a dog on a long lead allowed it to wander back and forth through one of the beds. When spoken to he said "the dog was in sniffing mode"!
Thankfully things got back to normal after that and we managed to put fresh edges to all the beds, get lots of weeds out and add a selection of new plants. Work was also done to the Toilet Bed and Jubilee Bed, and the WWI silhouette at the park entrance was cleaned of the mud that someone had thrown on it. We also tidied up the mess left by the contractor around the benches at the park entrance when they replaced the York stone that had been stolen.
On a much happier note, we also continued our Little Growers scheme, which encourages young children to take home some seeds to grow and nurture before planting back in the park later in the year. This is proving very popular and we'll do it for the final time this year during the next task day on 28 April, which will also be the annual Family Treasure Hunt.
Thankfully some park visitors continued to support us by popping just over £8 in our collection bucket.