Occasionally, while we are clearing the undergrowth in the reserve’s copses, we find the secret places, among the ivy and blackthorn, where somebody has hidden their plastic bags full of dog poop.

Out of sight, out of mind until FoSCP, armed with loppers, saws and brush cutters, comes along to reveal the secret.

Hidden poo-bag store in the copse, revealed!

Dog faeces are unpleasant, smelly and a dangerous source of parasitic infection for animals and humans alike and we ask dog walkers to pick up after their dogs and to dispose of the poo bags in the bins provided. Most do; a very few don’t and even fewer pick up their dog’s perfectly biodegradable poop, tie it up into a non-biodegradable plastic bag and then throw the bag into the bushes.

Nobody knows how long that plastic bag will take to biodegrade, there are estimates that run from 500 years to never. Below is a chart that shows how long it takes for different kinds of waste to biodegrade. Plastic bags are right at the bottom of the list.

Table: Science Learning Hub

Plastic bags have only been around for about 50 years, so there’s no first hand evidence of their decomposition rate; in fact there is no evidence that they biodegrade at all. Most plastics photodegrade; light breaks down their long chemical bonds, releasing dangerous toxins and ever-smaller plastic fragments into the environment. In this case the environment is the reserve’s beautiful copses.

Please, pick up after your dog and bin the poo bag!

We hate to nag, and it IS getting better but:

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