A dog that helps keep Lancashire’s water in tip top condition has been given an honorary position by United Utilities.
Eight year-old Springer Spaniel Twist, has been given the title of assistant catchment controller in a reward for his dogged service to owner and catchment controller in the Forest of Bowland, Dave Oyston.
And Dave says Twist makes his job easier as he promotes responsible behaviour.
He said: “People can look at you a bit strangely if they see you walking around the countryside on your own, but if you have a dog with you, it’s a great ice breaker.
“Part of my role is encouraging members of the public to look after the countryside, by picking up after their own dogs, disposing of litter properly, and so on. Twist tends to charm everyone he meets, and he makes it much easier to engage people and promote responsible behaviour.
“He’s probably the luckiest dog in the world, and I certainly feel like the luckiest bloke. The Forest of Bowland is one of the great landscapes, and we both get to work in it every day. I’ve been doing the job for 30 years, and I never tire of it. Every day is different.”
The Forest is an area of outstanding natural beauty and it covers 800 square kilometres - the majority in Lancashire - and is home to heather moorland, blanket bogs and rare birds. Dave and Twist’s roles are varied, and involve looking after wildlife, repairing gates and paths, picking up litter, taking samples of the raw water and liaising with a wide range of stakeholders.
The pair live in Twiston, and Dave named his dog after the village.