Animals Environment

Meet Hoylake’s young dog mess crusader

By Paul Johnston at

When schoolgirl Gabriella Holdgate from Hoylake kept stepping in dog mess on her way to school she resolved to do something about it.

So the creative 11 year-old set about manufacturing her own doggy bag dispensers out of recycled plastic bottles, which she is now placing in hotspots around the village.

Gabriella with one of her doggy bag dispensers, on Trinity Road

Gabriella told West Kirby Today: “It became more and more frequent on my walk to school that I was dodging or standing in dog mess. Twice I had to go home and change my shoes and what really upset me was seeing the younger children at school standing in it as they got upset.

“So I decided I would leave doggy bags out, but needed an idea to put them in something that would be protected from the wind and rain. Then I thought of our recycling bin and our plastic bottles as this helps the environment in more ways than one.

“Me and my family like to have a walk after our tea, and we thought about the places where we mostly saw dog mess and decided to put bags there too, especially the park where little children play.

“It is so important to me because I love where I live. I believe I can make a difference where I live by trying to help keep our environment clean and hygenic.

“We live in a beautiful place where so many people keep it pretty with flowers and putting lights up at Christmas, and this is something I can do by trying to keep it clean and enjoyable for the community and their families and visitors.”

The home-made dispensers have proved to be a hit with dog walkers

So far, the Holy Trinity primary school pupil has placed five dispensers around the village, including Grove Park and Trinity Road, and she has another 10 bottles in development on her ‘production line’ at home.

Proud mum Julie said: “The environment is something Gabriella is very passionate about and she will be delighted if she feels like she is making a difference if her idea is working.

“If it does take off she will have to double up on the collecting of bottles and start working a wider field!”