Growing call for designated dog area for popular Fife park

Dog walkers, led by Denise Wallace, centre, are calling on a dedicated safe space to walk their pets at the popular Fife park. (Pic David Cruikshanks).
Dog walkers, led by Denise Wallace, centre, are calling on a dedicated safe space to walk their pets at the popular Fife park. (Pic David Cruikshanks).

Support is growing for a designated dog exercise area to be installed in a popular Glenrothes park.

Campaigners say the area in Gilvenbank Park in the north of the town is necessary to ensure the safety of both the dogs and the increasing number of people now using the parkland for recreational sporting activities.

Denise Wallace, a member of North Glenrothes Community Council, who is leading the call for a dedicated area, told the Gazette she has already been given the backing of both Glenrothes Cricket Club and the new Gilvenbank sports hub project.

She is now calling on Fife Council to consider the proposal and says there is a number of potential areas within the park that would be suitable for such a facility.

“The park is used by a great number of dog owners and dog walkers and has been for many years,” explained Denise.

“But with the park increasingly being taken up by sporting activies and with the continuing development of the sports hub, there is a diminishing area for dog owners to use.

“Obviously, as owners we don’t want our pets to disrupt the sports activity but we need a safe space in which to exercise our dogs.”

She has now called on the council’s parks department to look at way to redevelop the now dilapidated former five-a-side area, which has remained locked since the new MUGA facility was introduced at Gilvenbank.

Responding to the dog area proposal, Alan Bisset, parks development officer, said: “I am happy to meet any members of North Glenrothes Community Group to discuss this further and see if we can find a suitable solution.

“We have been in contact with North Glenrothes Community Council about this issue on a number of occasions, and have always stated we do not consider the five-a-side court (ballcourt) suitable for a dog exercise area.

“Although there is a new ballcourt at the park, the older facility is still open to the public and available for use as a sports court.

“There are also health and safety issues to consider, and we are experiencing problems with other ballcourts in Glenrothes being used by dog owners.

“In turn, we do not want to give the public any conflicting information about the use of this type of facility.”

Denise said she will now seek a meeting with council representatives at the earliest opportunity in a bid to move the issue forward.