AN inventor is drawing interest across Britain and beyond for his creation of a gas lamp on the Malvern Hills powered by dog mess.

Brian Harper was inspired to devise the lamp following his leading role in the Gasketeers, a group of engineers who repaired and upgraded Malvern's distinctive gas lamps back in 2012.

With funding from the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, he has fitted one of the lamps, at Upper Dingle off West Malvern Road, with a bio-digester that can turn dog muck into gas which is then burned in the lamp.

And the lamp, though to be the first of its kind in the UK, is proving so popular with dog-owners and non-dog-owners alike that Mr Harper has been inundated with requests for interviews by papers including the Time and Daily Mail, and radio stations from across the UK, including the BBC World Service.

He said: "All dog owners have to do is pick up the mess in a paper bag - not a plastic one - put it in the digester and turn the handle five times.

"Dog owners are delighted that they have somewhere to put the mess that will do some good, not just putting it in a bin. And non-dog-owners are delighted that there is much less dog mess around."

The device works because the contents of the digester are broken down by micro-organisms, producing methane that fuels the light, with fertiliser as a by-product.

The methane is stored in the lamp until darkness falls, when it is released and burned.

Mr Harper says that he will be running the prototype lamp for the next few months to make adjustments and iron out any problems, and then he hopes to install further examples locally.

He says that Victoria Park in Malvern Link and the car parks around the Malvern Hills are some possible sites for the lamps to be installed.

He said: "Further afield, we're hoping that local councils and other bodies across the UK will be interested. There are a million tons of dog mess produced in the UK every year, so there is plenty of scope for these lamps to be used.

"People are fascinated. I've spent the last four days being interviewed about it by papers and radio stations across the UK, and everyone wants to know about it."