The National Trust has warned it may have to install dog bins around the Ashridge Estate unless people start clearing up after their pets.
The conservation charity owns the popular beauty spot and has made a survey for dog-walkers about what they do when their pets poo there.
The Trust says volunteer litter-pickers have had to scoop up mess dumped in plastic bags beside paths and around the visitor centre, creating an ‘eyesore and health risk’.
It would cost £400 to buy each new bin and more than £150 a year to maintain them.
There are also fears that they could overflow, about the possible ‘urbanising’ of the unspoilt area. Visitor experience manager Caroline Lisk said: “The estate covers 5,000 acres. It would be difficult to provide sufficient coverage without spoiling the unique nature of the estate.”
Instead she suggests dog-owners take poo home, perhaps in a margarine container, or use a stick to flick it into the undergrowth.
Take the Trust’s survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/ashridgedogmess