COMPLAINTS about the state of a Bournemouth rugby club pitch have led to calls for dog owners to pick up after their pooches.

Youngsters and adult members of East Dorset Rugby Club at Iford are forced to clear the pitch of multiple piles of dog mess before every training session and match they play.

The situation has become so intolerable, the club are asking Bournemouth council for a low level fence to be built around the pitch to alert people not to take dogs on there.

Howard Larkin, acting chairman of the club, said: “The situation is pretty dire at the moment.

“I reckon we picked up about 4kg on Saturday morning. The amount on the pitch is unbelievable.

“It’s really nasty and we’ve noticed it has got especially worse lately since we started doing the youth rugby in the last couple of years.

“The problem is the car park is right by the fields and I think dogs must jump out and go before their owners can catch them.

“Ultimately it’s really irresponsible and for us, a massive inconvenience.

“We have to make sure the whole pitch is clear before we allow anyone to play on their, especially the youngsters. It’s a health hazard.”

Mr Larkin added: “What would be ideal is if we could have a low level fence around the pitch to mark it out for people.

“They might take a bit more notice of it then.”

Michael Rowland, parks development manager, said: “We are aware of issues at Iford Playing Fields and other parks sites, however we do not believe a low-level fence around the pitch is a sustainable solution.

“We will continue to patrol the area and we will clean up the park where we can.

“We strongly urge those few irresponsible dog owners to pick up after their pets and use the bins provided.

“If we do catch individuals we operate a no excuses policy and issue on the spot fines.

“We will stay in touch with the rugby club and ask for support from them alongside responsible park users in catching people who let their dogs foul our parks and open spaces.”