Fears as rubbish and dog waste is dumped near canal

Bags of dog waste and litter dumped next to the canal at New Springs
Bags of dog waste and litter dumped next to the canal at New Springs

A shocked walker wants people to think twice before leaving litter and dog waste along Wigan’s waterways.

Chris Winstanley is concerned about the risks to both humans and animals using the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in the New Springs area.

He walks along the towpath nearly every day and says an increasing number of dog walkers are putting their pet’s waste into a bag and throwing it into trees.

People are also leaving litter along the canal and Mr Winstanley fears for a duck trapped in a plastic ring from a drink bottle.

Mr Winstanley, of Cale Lane, New Springs, said: “I have noticed that there has been a build-up of not just dog mess on the floor where people haven’t picked it up. The area backs onto Withington Lane and it seems to be there that they dump it.

“It’s a little bit worrying because I see it as a potential health hazard. There is no way you can have that build-up of dog mess and there not be a problem.”

Keen photographer Mr Winstanley took these pictures to highlight the issue.

The 67-year-old is also unhappy with the amount of litter being left at the canal, including wine bottles and cans, and wants bins to be installed.

He saw a mallard trapped inside a plastic ring. He recruited help to try to free the duck but was unsuccessful.

He said: “This duck was struggling to free itself from the grips of a plastic ring that would usually be on the neck of a plastic bottle of pop.

“I was unable to catch this unfortunate bird and should think it will succumb to the cold in a few days due to the fact it can’t eat.”

A Canal And River Trust spokesman said: “We absolutely share the frustration with people who drop litter or fail to pick up properly after their dogs. The canal is an amazing place with some great wildlife for people to enjoy. There’s not normally too much of a problem along this stretch so we’ll get the mess cleared up and will be keeping an eye on things.

“We appreciate any help in spreading the message about looking after the canal.

“Fortunately, as a charity, we do have some great volunteers who help us, including a towpath taskforce of local people who meet regularly to make the canal through Wigan a special place to visit.”

Visit the trust’s website to find out about joining the taskforce.