Shropshire Star

Country estates to experiment with doggy 'wee poles'

Two National Trust stately homes in the region are among a 'small handful of sites' that are to experiment with "wee poles" to stop dogs urinating on the historic grounds.

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Attingham Park

Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire and Attingham Park in Shropshire are two of the trust's sites that are to install the 3ft wooden posts around their grounds.

The National Trust says that high amounts of dog urine can increase the acidity of the soil and affect plants and the surrounding environment.

The pilot will see the poles placed into permeable gravel to soak up the urine, while pheromones released when dogs relieve themselves will encourage others to use the same post.

Shugborough Hall

The charity has said it is trying to strike a balance between those who want sites to be dog friendly and those who would rather see them banned.

Other experiments being tested out at sites across the UK as part of a Dogs Welcome project include dog washes, dog trailers, dog fields and dog-friendly trails, the charity said.

Project manager Ceinwen Paynton said: “We’re currently looking at a range of solutions to help balance access for dogs with measures to look after the environment. ‘Wee poles’ are one example. We haven’t yet installed these, but we plan to trial them at a small handful of sites."

She added that the trust will also install signage to explain their use to owners.

“This is an inexpensive and simple way to help us look after these places, while still making sure dog owners feel welcome,” said Ms Paynton.

“We're also improving dog-friendly trails, providing more waste bins and wash-down areas, and creating dog-free spaces for wildlife, livestock and visitors.”