The uncaring tourist

By | Category: Travel rumblings

some people seem immune to

Through winter, locals take their dogs walking down past the castle to the river, along the marked paths through the fields to the wildlife centre and elsewhere. They carry little bags to clean up after their dogs and generally you find that the paths are dog muck free. Come the spring and on through the summer, the tourist, the grockles and the seemingly uncaring visit and the amount of dog excrement rises.

It appears that visitors don’t bother to clean up after their dogs but take the attitude that, because they are away from home, they can treat the countryside and beaches as though it was someone  else’s responsibility to clear up after them. It isn’t and locals – including me – get pretty vocal about this lack of thought.

Two years ago after a particularly bad summer, pupils at the local primary school designed signs to be placed along some of the more popular routes. It seemed to have some effect at first but this year the amount of excrement left lying around has been as bad as the old days.

Ours is a doggy village. Not having one makes me stand out amongst the population. Many have two or three and during the out-of-tourist seasons we rarely have a problem with dog muck left lying around. Even on the mile-long beach where dogs can, and do, enjoy themselves dashing up and down from the dunes to the waves there is no problem with faeces. Not until spring comes and the tourists return.  Dogs are banned from large sections of the beach during the tourist months so the problem doesn’t really arise. Except in the car parks and tracks to the beach and the surrounding areas. Then someone else has to clear up after the tourists have taken their dogs walking.

That the problem only occurs in the tourist months encourages me to lay the blame fairly and squarely on them. But why can’t they clear up after their dogs? Do they treat the areas where they live in a similar way? It is no use fining them or some other usual retribution. That doesn’t seem to have any effect even if we had wardens or any officials who could catch them.

The only answer might be that, on the next holiday, they will be punished by having to spend 50% of the time cleaning up the dog mess left by other thoughtless, uncaring tourists until they see an offender, report it and act as a witness for the prosecution.



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