A CUNNING plan thought up by a parish council to foil irresponsible dog owners has been thwarted by a pair of secateurs.

Ludgershall parish councillors had thought that a strategically placed and very prickly berberis shrub would prevent a mystery dog owner from allowing his or her pet to poop in the rose garden near to Prince of Wales House in the centre of the village. The shrub was duly planted but within a few days a secateur-wielding vandal had decapitated the berberis.

Councillors are also annoyed that signs saying 'no dogs' are swiftly removed from the site.

"If we find out who is responsible for these acts of vandalism we will take action and inform the police," said council chairman Chris Williams.

Ironically the rose garden has been cultivated on land which formerly housed the public conveniences!