SO MUCH dog dirt is being left on a pitch used by young footballers that it has to be cleared by a council worker with a spade before matches can kick off.

The filthy state of the Wrexham Council owned pitch next to Whitegate Industrial Estate and other playing fields across the town has led one councillor to issue a stark warning that irresponsible dog owners are putting children’s health at risk by allowing them to foul public open spaces.

Marc Jones, Plaid Cymru member for the Whitegate ward, raised concerns after watching his son play football at the weekend.

He said: “The pitch next to Whitegate Industrial Estate has to be checked every week by a man with spade before each game.

“It’s disgusting that owners have allowed their dogs to foul the pitch without cleaning it up.

“I’m a dog owner myself and it’s not rocket science to take a bag with you when you’re taking the dog for a walk.

“I’m concerned that kids playing football on this pitch could be at risk of developing toxocara canis, which is found in dog mess and can in some cases cause blindness.

“Only recently a young girl in Manchester suffered an eye infection due to dog fouling in a local park – she could lose her eyesight as a result.

“I don’t want the same thing happening to a child here.”

“As a parent, I don’t want to put my sons at risk of disease while they’re playing football or rugby.”

Cllr Jones said the problem of dog fouling was a general concern in the Wrexham area and was a priority for both the police and the local authority.

He said Wrexham Council was doing it’s best to keep the area clean, but the problem lies with the dog owners.

He stressed it was an “irresponsible minority” who were causing the problem and urged all dog owners to use a bag or scoop to take home their dog’s mess.

He added: “Dog wardens are aware of the problem and have the power to levy fines for dog fouling.”