Splott businessmen plan ‘dog park’ to tackle pet mess

May 1, 2012 7 Comments »
Splott businessmen plan ‘dog park’ to tackle pet mess

From left to right, Leon Tarr, Coun Gavin Cox, and Paul Gwilym

Two Splott businessmen have come up with an unusual solution to the area’s problem with dog mess – a “dog land” in the middle of the city ward.

Paul Gwilym and Leon Tarr run The Wedding Fayre Shop on Splott Road, but say they are fed up with dog owners who fail to pick up their pet’s mess in the surrounding streets and parks.

They considered possible solutions such as campaigning for extra bins, but decided this would not be enough to tackle the problem. So they have come up with a plan for an enclosed dog exercise area, with the aim that dog mess would not be spread around Splott, but also hope their idea can bring the community together.

Paul explained how he and his business partner want to develop an all-weather “dog land”, with fenced off exercise areas and a dog obstacle course where pet owners could come to walk their four-legged friends.

Vistors would be given “doggie bags” when they arrive, so they have no excuse not to clean up their dog’s mess while they’re there, but also when they leave in an effort to change their behaviour when they walk their dog elsewhere.

But the business plan goes further, including proposals for a day kennels, a dog washing and grooming station, a coffee shop, pet supplies store,  animal charity shop, and a pet memorial garden.

The pair even believe the park could offer work experience, volunteering opportunities for young people, and a facility for police dog training.

Paul said: “It could be a fantastic place to bring the community together, somewhere for pets to play, while also helping to tackle a big problem in Splott.”

Paul and Leon estimate that getting their idea off the ground would cost between £50,000 and £70,000, and are currently looking for partners for the project.

But they are keen to make it a reality through a social enterprise model, meaning any money made by the park – such as through an entry price, or takings from the coffee shop or day kennels – would be put back into creating more facilities for the community.

Leon said they believe they have identified three brownfield sites in Splott that could be potential spaces for development, but they are also looking at the possibility of adapting an empty retail unit.

Splott ward councillor Gavin Cox agreed the idea could be much more effective than simply supplying more dog waste bins.

Coun Cox said there were too few litter bins in Splott, and he has asked for a ward-wide survey to assess provision, but he was yet to meet a resident who would be willing to have a dog waste bin outside their home.

He said: “The vast majority of dog owners are responsible and clean up after their pets.  It’s the irresponsible dog walkers who wouldn’t use litter bins if there was one on every lamp post in Cardiff who pose the problem.

“Rather than expect hard working families to pay extra council tax to clean up after irresponsible dog owners I’d prefer to see a scheme such as this, where dogs have their own exclusive exercise areas in parks. “

If you think you can offer help or support to Paul and Leon, contact Paul on 07787568421 or e-mail paul@theweddingfayreshop.com

What do you think about Paul and Leon’s idea? Is it a better solution than having more dog waste bins? Would you want a dog park like this near your home? Let us know in the comments below.


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  1. @rachaelphillips May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Dog mess in Cardiff is ridiculous. I have two small dogs and I HATE taking them around the streets because of other owners and their failure to pick up after their dogs. I can't count the amount of times I've stood in dog s*it when walking around Canton.

    I hate to be negative about the idea but I just think that you'll find the people who use this dog park will be people who are responsible and pick up after their dogs anyway.

  2. diane May 1, 2012 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    This idea will not stop the situation its a JOKE!
    All that money to be spent on a dogs area……..
    What about our youth?
    What about our elder generation in our community?
    Why can't we find that sort of money to make a difference in our community?
    Come on WAKE UP people.
    A total waste of money time and resources …..

    • paul & leon May 1, 2012 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      hi Diane.
      i think you have missed the point about the youth and elderly, this is for them as a community project a safe place for the youth and elderly to be able to walk there pets, this will also get the elderly out and about as we have spoken with age concern and local charities to pick up the elderly and bring them down to the site so they can have some fun time with their pets.
      I totally agree money is needed for youth and elderly projects but why sit back and wait when maybe we can create something magical for all to use in an under privileged urban area. we welcome all feed back as this can help us move this project in the right direction.

  3. Lynda May 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    On the spot fines for all irresponsible dog owners who leave their dog's excrement behind. I complain regularly about the state of Roath Park and surrounding areas, I even stopped one owner with 3 dogs and gave her 3 of my bags because she was just about to walk away from 3 loads of mess. It isn't fair for other walkers who do not have dogs, and also children who cannot resist running on the grass areas. It has become a big problem in all parts of Cardiff. Come on you dog owners clear up your dogs mess there are plenty of bins provided.

  4. RedRoy May 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    At least Gavin Cox is being proactive about this issue. Labour are walking round the area playing the blame game and offering us nothing other than negative stuff. It bores the hell out of me and has put me right off voting for them.

  5. Sarah Jones September 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    I think it is a great idea to have a dog friendly area in cardiff. Not for stopping irresponsible owners picking up their dog mess but just for somewhere safe and interesting for dog owners and dogs to go. I can't wait for it to be built and would be a regular user with my two dogs.

  6. Val December 2, 2012 at 8:32 am - Reply

    They have dog parks in USA and I've always thought what a good idea that was. I often walk my dog around the so called dog route of cosmeston park only to be met by screaming kids who are afraid of my slightly over zealous dog -harmless as he is, it is not fair in the scared child or in the confused dog! At least in a controlled environment the dogs would be able to run free and socialise. My only concern would be if there was a cost to use the facility might put people off.

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