A NEW scheme to tackle dog fouling on a Hampshire nature reserve has seen mess cut by almost two thirds.

Volunteers placed bright green flags next to 58 piles of dog poo on St Faith's Meadow, Winchester, a fortnight ago. After scooping the mess they stuck up posters urging walkers to 'Pick up with Pride'.

Officers from Winchester City Council and Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust returned this week to find just 22 piles, a reduction of 62 per cent.

A trust spokesman said: "Abandoned dog poo is unsightly for staff and visitors, but also spreads diseases to other animals - including neospora which can cause cows to abort their calves.

"The Winchester City Council Animal Welfare Team has been supporting the Wildlife Trust by providing bags that can be handed out to local dog walkers and visiting the site to speak to visitors about the problem. The local community has been very supportive of the project and have been helping by carrying spare bags that they can offer to anyone who needs one."

St Cross Meadow was also mapped for poo by the 11th Winchester Scouts. Tracking will continue over the year.