‘Ditch the dirt’ and help clean up the Kingdom

Dog owners are being urged to 'ditch the dirt'.
Dog owners are being urged to 'ditch the dirt'.

A new initiative has been launched in a bid to urge dog owners to clean up their act and bag waste in any public bin.

Fife Council hopes dog owners will ‘ditch the dirt’ and support a campaign by Keep Scotland Beautiful which asks people to ‘grab it, bag it and bin it’.

This week Councillor Pat Callaghan, Fife Council’s spokesman for transportation and environment, launched the scheme and said: “Dog fouling is blighting our communities and is passing on disease to our children; with just a little bit of extra care from dog walkers this problem could be overcome.”

Research carried out by the campaign group said almost seven in 10 people rated dog fouling as the item on our streets, parks and beaches that bothered them most.

Dog fouling is not just a nuisance to pedestrians and walkers but it’s also illegal and can lead to a conviction and a fine of up to £500.

The move has been welcomed by Kirkcaldy woman Morag McRaith who recently contacted the Fife Free Press following publication of a feature on Fife’s Coastal Path.

Following a recent walk she contact Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT), which manages the path but does not own it, to express her disgust.

She said: “When my friend and I walked along part of the path from Ravenscraig Park to East Wemyss we certainly couldn’t take full advantage of the breathtaking views on offer, as we were too busy looking down on the ground in an effort to avoid the dog’s dirt left behind on the path by selfish, lazy and inconsiderate dog owners! Not only was it on the path, it was also on some of the verges, as if allowing your dog to foul here was better than on the path itself!

“Some people had taken the time and trouble to clean up after their dogs, but hadn’t bothered to take the doggy bag away with them to dispose of properly; instead it was left lying on the ground or hanging on a tree branch or bush!

“The worst mess we encountered was at Dysart, when you leave the path and walk to the Frances Colliery Memorial. We stopped there to read the memorial before joining the path as we walked towards West Wemyss. We were shocked and saddened at the amount of litter, dog’s dirt and other waste dumped at the beginning of this part of the path. What sort of message does this sent to visitors and will it make them want to come back?”

In response, a spokesperson for FCCT, told the Press: “The Fife Coastal Path is Scotland’s most popular coastal path and free and open to everyone, including dog walkers, all of whom are very welcome but have a responsibility to clean up properly after their pets.

“This responsibility doesn’t stop with bagging the waste but disposing of it correctly and hygienically in the dedicated dog bins or general waste bins.”

For more information on the scheme visit www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org