HAWORTH dog owners who do not clear away their dog's mess have been encouraged to change their habits.

Local mum Emma Tucker said that with spectators due to descend on the village for the Tour de France, now is a good time to make Haworth's pavements, paths and other public spaces as clean and welcoming as possible.

She said Haworth youngsters were very keen to see the issue dealt with, and had made a poster which they hope to put up in prominent locations to spread the anti dog fouling message.

She said dog fouling is a particular menace for parents who have young children.

Mrs Tucker, 37 who lives in Prince Street, said: "It's an ongoing problem for children playing out, and also mums with pushchairs.

"The houses behind us have communal grounds where the kids play out, and that's often bad for dog fouling.

"One mum who lives over the road spends 20 minutes each time picking up dog muck before she can let her children play out - she shouldn't have to do that.

"Most of it seems to be caused by people walking their dogs early in the morning.

"You don't really want to challenge them directly about it, because it can get awkward.

"We're not attacking these people, and we don't want to get anyone into trouble. They just need a reminder. If they can get into the routine of picking up after their dogs then maybe it will become a habit."

Mrs Tucker, who has three sons aged seven, six and one, said her two older children had both stepped in dog mess before, and that this has ended up on her home's carpet.

Coun Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council executive member for Environment and Sport, responded: "Most dog owners are responsible and clean up after their dogs, however, the actions of a minority of owners are blighting the environment.

"Anyone found not cleaning up after their dog will be issued with a £80 fixed penalty notice or prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.

"If people have witnessed a specific incident of dog fouling, can provide details of the date and time it took place, know the name and address of the owner and are willing to make a statement we can issue the owner with a fixed penalty notice. Visit bradford.gov.uk to report this."

Coun Thornton highlighted the Green Dog Walkers scheme, which is designed to change attitudes and promote responsible dog ownership.

Volunteers make a pledge to wear a Green Dog Walkers armband and to carry extra dog waste bags that they then give to fellow dog walkers. Contact the Area Co-ordinators office at bradford.gov.uk for information.