Dog walkers are being urged to clean up dog foul, by Friends of Richmond Park.

One Facebook, Friends of Richmond Park posted an image of bags with dog foul hanging from a gate near Beverley Brook.

The post said: "It's unbelievable why people do this?!!! If dog walkers take the trouble to bag their dog's mess, why do they then hang it up for someone else to clear away, or worse, for a deer to attempt to eat! Put it in a bin, or better still, take it home."

Friends of Richmond Park are a charity dedicated to the conservation of the park and its wildlife. They, together with The Royal Park, adopt a conservation strategy which is based around 'Tread Lightly', a series of easy "do's and don'ts" for visitors to observe. One of the regulations is to make sure dog walkers remove dog faeces.

Richard Gray, a trustee of Friends of Richmond Park, said: "It's a great shame that some dog owners are leaving poo bags in the way shown in the picture. There are over 130 bins throughout the Park and dog owners must dispose of dog waste responsibly. Bags left hanging on fences or discarded are a danger to wildlife and offensive to other Park users as well as being a potential health hazard. We like to think that the majority of responsible dog owners - and we have many in our charity - do the right thing and dispose of dog waste responsibly."

The Royal Parks have a number of policies on dogs in the park, the guide says the following in relation to dog fouling: "Dog waste left in the park is unpleasant for other park users, unhygienic and causes serious ecological damage to plant and animal communities. It is an offence under The Royal Parks Regulations to fail to clean up after your dog. Dog waste should be placed in a tightly sealed bag and taken home or deposited in the bins marked for dog waste. Dog waste bins are provided in all Royal Parks. Anyone failing to clean up after their dog may face prosecution." The full guide can be downloaded here.

Adam Curtis, manager for Richmond Park, The Royal Parks, said: “Leaving dog poo and plastic bags ruins the park for others and it damages the environment.

“Picking up dog faeces should be an automatic reflex for all dog walkers – pick up the poo and put it in a bin. There’s a bin at every gate and car park and in all busy spots across the park.

“Dog waste can spread disease and it fertilises the soil, which damages rare acid grassland - favouring the growth of dominant rye grasses over wildflowers. And worming agents in dog faeces contain insecticides, destroying insect populations.

“It’s an offence to leave dog waste, and littering by leaving it in a bag is an additional offence. The police will prosecute anyone leaving dog poo or litter. If anyone spots a build-up of dog waste in any area of the park please call the parks office on 0300 061 2200. There’s a particular build-up of dog poo around Sheen Gate and Kingston Gate, close to populated areas, which seems to get worse as the nights draw in. Anyone who wants to walk their dog at night should keep their dogs on a lead and bring a torch so they know where their dog has had a poo, and pick it up and put it in a bin or take it home.”