Tennis courts deposit scheme (to stop “deposits”!)

A returnable £5 deposit scheme is being introduced for people wanting to use the tennis courts by Birkenhead Park.

Families turning up to use the Birkenhead tennis courts over the Christmas period found deposits of dog muck on the courts and were forced to abandon their game.

A spokesman for the park told Councillor Allan Brame: “Regarding the issue of dog fouling in the tennis courts, the tennis courts are regularly checked and cleared by the gardening team or ranger team, however it is a recurring issue.

“It would appear that some local dog-owners are utilising the area for its enclosed space to exercise dogs which may not be able to be released from direct control anywhere else in the park, and are inconsiderate enough to not pick up after their dogs.”

Councillor Brame commented, “It is sad that one or two thoughtless dog-owners are causing such inconvenience to families who simply want to use facilities provided by council tax-payers. Responsible dog-owners are rightly appalled by people who can’t be bothered to clean up after their dogs.”

As a preventative measure, as of Monday 7th January –  a new deposit system for access to the tennis courts is to be trialled.  Users will be asked to pay a £5 returnable deposit for a key to access the courts (which will otherwise remain locked), which can be acquired at the Visitor Centre between 9am and 4pm.

The trial will run until the end of March, when lighter evenings will force the courts to remain open outside of the visitor services team’s operating hours.

The Park spokesman said, “At that stage we will have to re-think our strategy to prevent further mess in the courts.”