A PRESTWICH sports club is urging dog owners to clear up after their pets after their fields have been plagued by fouling.

Prestwich Cricket, Tennis and Bowls Club has been affected by the issue for several months, meaning that the various sports teams and clubs who use them have to clean up the mess before they can use the fields.

The club is now asking for public support to help maintain them.

Although they are a public space leased from Bury Council, the fields are used and managed by the club in partnership with Prestwich Arts College.

Brian Lorenzini, chairman of Prestwich Cricket, Tennis and Bowling Club, said: "This has been going on for a while now, for a long time, and it's getting steadily worse.

"People are entitled to walk their dogs around around the field and I don't have a problem with that.

"But I do have a problem when there are hundreds of children using that field every week for football training or athletics clubs, and before they can start any games or coaching they have to clear up the fouling and dog mess.

"For owners not to pick up after their dogs is really disgraceful."

Mr Lorenzini added the issue is especially disappointing after efforts gone to by the club to renovate and maintain the fields.

Originally home to Prestwich Heys FC, the fields had in previous years fallen into a more unkempt state before being taken over by the Cricket, Tennis and Bowls Club.

Mr Lorenzini said: "We are desperately upset about this because we spend a lot of money on managing the site.

"It has never been maintained to this standard, it is the best standard it has been on for 30 or 40 years, thanks to us."

The club wants to encourage people to be responsible dog owners and plans to put up signs reminding them to pick up after their pets.

Mr Lorenzini said: "The next step is putting up some signs which will probably go up this week.

"We are just hoping that people will react to the signs and think about what they are doing.

"I'm hoping they will be sensible and if their dog does foul that they will just pick it up.

"I'm a dog owner myself and I pick up the mess if my dog fouls.

"Some people do pick it up but a lot don't and that's the problem."

The club has also been in contact with Sedgley Councillor and cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Alan Quinn, who has got onboard with their campaign to tackle the fouling.

Cllr Quinn said: "The club is brilliant, there are vibrant tennis courts, the bowling green is full and they coach loads of kids at football and cricket. It's a superb set up, all run by volunteers.

"Unfortunately they have a real problem with the amount of dog mess they constantly have to clear up.

"I'm funding a sign for them to put up from my personal budget and the club have said they will do a leaflet drop asking residents not to let their dogs foul everywhere."

He added: "It's a shame it is being affected by people who can't be bothered to put plastic bags in their pocket and pick up dog poo."