It is a charming village known for its archaeological digs involving locals unearthing treasures from beneath its soil.

But there is something far less pleasant and sitting right on the surface which is currently creating a stink in Sedgeford.

Villagers have been angered by an outbreak of dog fouling on their playing fields behind the village hall.

Three complaints have been made to West Norfolk Council, whose enforcement officers have issued one owner with a written warning.

Eastern Daily Press: A woman walks her dog on the playing field at SedgefordA woman walks her dog on the playing field at Sedgeford (Image: Chris Bishop)

Now, the village hall committee is asking the parish council to consider banning dogs altogether from the area, off Jarvie Close.

However, dog owners are concerned about the proposals, which would stop them using the only open field in the village, which sits on the Peddars Way and is home to the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project, which involves annual digs on the surrounding land.

In order to resolve the issue, some local dog walkers have even offered to dob in those not clearing up after their pets to the parish council.

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Eastern Daily Press: The village playing field at SedgefordThe village playing field at Sedgeford (Image: Chris Bishop)


The village hall committee is taking a range of measures in response to dog fouling.

In its email to the parish council, it said: "Many villages in the area have taken the dog ban route.

"We have discussed some measures that we hope to go through before making this decision but these have not yet been put in place.

"The committee will be approaching the chief medical officer for Norfolk and our insurers giving them the facts and seeking further clarification on the risk we are taking."

The e-mail, which was made public in council minutes, also requests an assurance that the parish council will share "any costs and risks that could result from any action in relation to dog waste on the field".

Eastern Daily Press: A sign asks owners to clean up after their dogA sign asks owners to clean up after their dog (Image: Chris Bishop)

It adds: "When the trustees have the re-assurances to the above, they may well be able to conclude that there are no further actions that we need to take and that we are managing the risks to the public with the action that we currently undertake with signage and monitoring."



Signs around the site ask dog walkers to pick up after their pets, while a dog waste bin and poo bag dispenser have also been installed beside the field.

Eastern Daily Press: Free poo bags are available from a dispenser at the village hallFree poo bags are available from a dispenser at the village hall (Image: Chris Bishop)

Notices also warn those who find themselves in court could face fines of up to £1,000 - although no prosecutions are believed to have been brought over the field at Sedgeford to date.

Dogs are already banned from a fenced-off children's playground at the site.

Village hall committee chairman John Ward said a ban would be "a last resort", adding the majority of owners picked up after their dogs.

Eastern Daily Press: A notice warns owners could be fined £1,000 if they find themselves in court for failing to pick up after their petsA notice warns owners could be fined £1,000 if they find themselves in court for failing to pick up after their pets (Image: Chris Bishop)

But he said: "We do have dogs that foul the playing field. We have to hope they're not with their owners and if they are with their owners, we hope they'd pick up after them.

"It's been raised by the trustees, are we doing enough to avoid putting the public in any danger?"



In its reply, the council said: "The parish council take this issue very seriously and would support the village hall committee with any claim resulting from dog fouling."

It also reveals responsible owners have offered to dob in those who do not follow the rules.

"I can confirm that the offer by a resident to help identify culprits was certainly taken up, as were similar offers from other residents," it adds.

Eastern Daily Press: Christine Nelson with Margo on the fieldChristine Nelson with Margo on the field (Image: Chris Bishop)

The field is popular with dog walkers from both Sedgeford and further afield.

Villager Christine Nelson, 81, was out with her six-year-old spaniel Margo after the rain eased off on Wednesday afternoon.

"I was one of the mothers years ago who didn't like dogs in the park because people didn't pick their poo up," she said.

"It's not very nice. The dog is your responsibility and you have to appreciate if you don't go by the rules everybody's going to be banned."

Eastern Daily Press: Valerie Sharpley walks her dogs on the field at SedgefordValerie Sharpley walks her dogs on the field at Sedgeford (Image: Chris Bishop)

Fellow local Valerie Sharpley exercises her 12-year-old Labrador Sam, Romanian rescue dog Flo and collie-cross puppies Sid and Nancy three or four times a day on the playing field.

"This is the only field you can walk on," she said, adding a ban would cause "a big problem" for owners in the village.