CAMERA crews from hit TV show Grand Designs have been filming anti-dog fouling crusader Gary Downie.
The Broughton father-of-two vowed to clean up the streets after tiring of pushing his baby’s pram over pavements and through parks covered in dog mess.
Gary bankrolled the launch of charity StreetKleen and set up a social enterprise, Active Bio Systems, to turn dog waste into biogas using the process of anaerobic digestion.
His idea caught the attention of TV producers and he spent Tuesday filming with Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud in Broughton, Buckley and Wrexham.
Gary said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that Kevin and the team are so interested.
“There’s such a huge problem with dog mess here and if we can change people’s perception of the problem by showing how it can be put to good use then I really believe Flintshire can lead the way.”
Gary set the children at Mountain Lane Primary School in Buckley the task of coming up with a way of preventing dog fouling and they came up with the thought-provoking image of a ‘poo tree’.
They filled poop scoop bags with replica dog mess, which was actually seeds and oats, and hung them in a tree at their school to illustrate just how much mess is left lying around.
“It was a brilliant idea,” Gary said.
“The bags really looked like they were filled with dog mess and it sends out a strong message.”
Gary and the Grand Designs team then headed to Brooks Avenue playing fields where they met up with more than 30 dog owners to share their ideas on converting dog waste into energy.
“The response we got was great. The dog owners were 100 per cent behind the idea.”
Next stop was the farm of Richard Tomlinson in Holt, Wrexham, where he demonstrated how his FRE-Energy project can convert the dog mess into energy through anaerobic digestion.
“We were actually able to make two cups of tea with the energy we got from one bag of poo. It was fantastic.”
Talks are ongoing with Flintshire Council about introducing special ‘dog stations’ in the county on a trial basis.
Gary said he also had strong interest from many other councils.
“This was just an idea back in February and things have really snowballed.
“It just proves that this is something people are fed up with and they have really got behind it.”