IN 2017, a man who took matters into his own hands to try and draw attention to the amount of dog fouling in Minehead launched a petition for support.

Steven Heard, 47, was often seen patrolling Minehead on his mobility scooter picking up dog poo left around the town - particularly in the Culvercliffe area.

Mr Heard, a sufferer of mobility issues and registered as deaf, was inspired to campaign for change after he repeatedly had to clean dog mess from the wheels of his scooter.

At the time, Mr Heard said that he could pick up to 50 bags worth of dog poo in a day.

However, he divided opinion after taking matters into his own hands, using water-soluble spray paint to highlight the faeces, spray painting messages and leaving signs to encourage dog walkers to clean up after their pups.

In 2016, Mr Heard received a number of abusive anonymous letters, threatening to put dog poo in his garden and referring to him a ‘fat silver-back gorilla’ among a barrage of expletives.

Speaking at the time, a spokesperson for West Somerset Council said: “The council is engaged in ongoing discussions with Mr Heard and would not comment on this individual case. 

“The council takes the issue of dog fouling very seriously and complaints regarding dog fouling and heavily fouled areas are investigated by the Environmental Health team. 

“Routine patrols take place in areas where complaints are received, we educate dog owners regarding responsible dog ownership including fouling, micro-chipping and keeping control of dogs in public open spaces.”

Mr Heard was issued with a Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC).

Somerset County Gazette: Steven Heard divided opinion with his methods for trying to tackle Minehead's dog poo problem.Steven Heard divided opinion with his methods for trying to tackle Minehead's dog poo problem. (Image: NQ archives)

A petition was launched by Mr Heard along with resident Shonie Millward to appeal for the council to repeal the order.

The petition read: “While some may think that his signs are annoying, one can assume that they are not as annoying as having to clean animal waste from your wheelchair every time you take your dog out.

“The petition first asks that the issue of dog mess be addressed by the correct government agencies and with the appropriate government funds, as opposed to being left to Mr Heard, and his own pocket.

“We ask secondly that both Minehead and West Somerset Councils work to retract the ridiculous ABC against Mr. Heard on these grounds alone, on top of addressing the problem themselves, as other councils have done so successfully.”