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FAECAL CONTAMINATION IN THE ENVIRONMENT

CLASS ACTIVITY -  KEY STAGE 3/4


This study will collect information about faecal pollution in the environment 

CLICK HERE for background information on this subject

Aims

The objective of the study is to collect information about  the following :

  • The number of faecal stools deposited and left in the environment
  • The distribution of  stools in relation to the local environment
  • The presence or absence of notices to the public advising of local regulations regarding allowing dogs to foul in the environment
  • The presence or absence of toilet areas and or disposal bins for pet faeces in areas used to exercise dogs
  • The presence or absence of stray dogs in the environment

Method

Students should be split into groups to perform a field investigation in the local environment. The groups should be tasked with examining different areas within the local environment. Examples would be :

  • Pavements in residential areas
  • Pavements near shopping areas
  • Pavements in shopping precincts
  • Pavements near parks
  • Pavements near wasteland
  • Pavements near Industrial areas
  • Pavements near beaches
  • Pavements near 
  • Parks - open grassland
  • Parks - children's play areas
  • Parks - sports pitches
  • Beaches
  • Wasteland
  • Open countryside adjacent to residential areas
  • Open countryside away from residential areas
  • Country parks

The students should sketch out the perimeter of their study area, identify significant landmarks within it, and conduct a detailed visual search of the area to  :

  • Count the number of stools
  • Mark the location of stools on their map
  • Count the number of stray dogs
  • Mark the location of stray dogs on their map
  • Record all public warning signs on their map
  • Record all special pet toilet facilities on their map - waste bins, toilet areas
  • Record all children play areas on the map
  • Record all sports pitches on the map

Having collected this information the students will be able to perform simple analytical procedures to identify :

  • Areas in their environment which are most heavily contaminated with faeces
  • Areas which are least contaminated
  • Draw conclusions about the effectiveness of local regulations
  • Draw conclusions about the effectiveness of local signage
  • Draw conclusions about the effect of any stray dog populations
  • Draw conclusions about the likely risk of children and sports players coming into contact with faecally contaminated grass or soil  in their play environments

Depending upon the environment in which the study is conducted valuable information may be collected which could  produce valid  recommendations to make to the local authorities.

 

 

 

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