The Worst Locations in the UK for Dog Fouling

no dog fouling sign

Dog fouling is a problem for the whole UK, but some locations are worse than others.

New research reveals the places in the UK where complaints of dog fouling are the highest, and how many people are aware of the potential consequences of doing so.

Glasgow comes out as the worst place for dog fouling followed by Northumberland and Manchester.

The Scottish city is also revealed as the UK area most likely to issue a fine for dog fouling.

With the summer months approaching, and many of us considering walks in the warmer weather, research has revealed the areas in the UK where you’re most likely to stumble upon, or step in, dog foul.

The study by Comparethemarket reveals the UK’s hotspots for dog fouling, as well as which area issues the most fixed penalty notices for doing so.

Glasgow comes out as the worst place for dog fouling reports, with an average of 2131.4 per year. According to the research, Northumberland (1328.3), Manchester (1168), and Belfast (1075.3) are also some of the other worst areas for dog fouling in the UK.

READ MORE: Top Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe on Winter Walks

What is the law about dog fouling in the UK?

In the UK failing to pick up your dog’s poo in a public area can lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100. The case could also go to court, which could cost the dog owner or person in charge of your dog £1,000.

Dog mess is an issue around the UK. Not only is it unseemly, but it is dangerous for the health of humans and other animals and dogs.

Specifically, there are slight variations in the law in the countries in the UK. England, Wales and Scotland are different to Northern Ireland, yet in all countries it is illegal.

dog poo bin

England, Wales and Scotland

The Litter (Animal Droppings) Order 1991 of the Environmental Protection Act (1990) places a duty on local authorities to keep the following areas clear of dog faeces:

  • Any public walk or pleasure ground
  • Any land laid out as a garden or used for the purpose of recreation
  • Any part of the seashore which is frequently used by large numbers of people, and managed by the person having direct control of it as a tourist resort or recreational facility
  • Any esplanade or promenade which is above the place where the tide flows at mean high water springs
  • Any land not forming part of the highway or, in Scotland, a public road, which is open to the air, which the public is permitted to use on foot only, and which provides access to retail premises
  • A trunk road picnic area
  • A picnic site.

This means that local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland must keep public highways clear of dog poo, as far as is practical.

Northern Ireland

The Litter (Northern Ireland) Order 1993 section 6 gives local authorities the duty to keep its relevant land or any relevant road for which it is responsible, clear of litter and refuse (this includes dog poo).

READ MORE: 5 Reasons Why Walking Your Dog Strengthens Your Bond

Top 10 areas with the most reports of dog fouling

The table below shows the UK areas with the highest number of dog fouling reports on average, and in total from 2017-2021.


Average Reports

Total Reports (2017 -2021)

Glasgow City Council 2131.4 10657
Northumberland County Council 1328.3 5313
Manchester City Council 1168 5840
Belfast City Council 1075.3 4301
North Lanarkshire Council 990 3960
Clydach Vale Council 988.6 4943
Sunderland City Council 955.6 4778
Liverpool City Council 921.5 1843
Wigan Borough Council 903.6 4518
Caerphilly County Borough Council 743 3715

As part of their research, Comparethemarket also conducted a survey which revealed that one in 25 people (4%) never pick up after their dog, and more than 1 in 10 admit to not picking it up sometimes (12%). What’s more, one in three (32%) being unaware that dog fouling in public places is actually against the law!

READ MORE: 12 Must-Do Activities To Complete With Your Dog In 2023

Top 5 areas with the most fixed penalty notices

It turns out Glasgow yet again tops the list for the area where you’re most likely to receive a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for dog fouling with an average of 512.6 FPNs per year.

The table below shows the top five UK areas ranked by FPNs.


Average FPNs

Total FPNs (2017 -2021)

Glasgow City Council 512.6 2563
Clydach Vale Council 181 905
Barnsley City Council 102.8 514
Ards and North Down Borough Council 82 164
Dumfries and Galloway Council 54.6 273

Clean up after your pet when you are walking them, it is not only disgusting, but illegal to leave dog poo where it falls.