Junior Rangers and a Keep Scotland Beautiful Hero united in Forfar on Saturday to spread the word to ‘Clean Up Angus.’
They were joined at Forfar Loch by Councillor Jeanette Gaul, communities vice-convener, to promote new doggie disposal bags produced by Angus Council to assist the campaign and to plea to dog owners to pick up after their pets.
The new bags have been redesigned to help spread the Clean Up Angus message, which is linked to the video that Keep Scotland Beautiful Hero of the Month Sophie Ann Robson, of Whitehills Primary school in Forfar played a key role in.
Sophie Ann earned plaudits for her determination in campaigning for the problem of dog fouling around her school to be tackled.
She launched her campaign with a letter to the Forfar Dispatch two years ago and since then she has proved to be a real ambassador for her town.
She said: “I know I have responsibilities as a dog owner – a very simple one being to pick up after my pet. Why should anybody else have to do it? These bags make it very simple for people to clean up after their dogs, but don’t just bag it, make sure you bin it too.”
Councillor Gaul agreed saying: “We try to make it easy for people to pick up after their dogs and dispose of the bagged waste. Any Bin Will Do – we have around 1600 dual litter and dog waste bins across Angus, so there really is no excuse for not being a responsible dog owner. Don’t ruin someone else’s day out by ignoring what your dog has deposited on the street or pavement, or in the park. Help us Keep Angus Beautiful.”
Dog bags are available for sale at ACCESS offices, libraries, leisure centres and at Ranger’s Centres across Angus at a price of 20p for 25 bags.
Junior Rangers, young volunteers aged five to 14, meet at Forfar Country Park to help with the work of the ranger service and learn about the natural environment.
While helping to build new pathways in the Millennium woodland at Turfbeg, they were disgusted by the amount of dog mess in the area and, with the help of the rangers, decided to start an anti-fouling campaign.
They created a ‘dog poo tree’ - a large willow branch adorned with `filled’ dog waste bags. The bags’ contents were modelling clay convincingly made to look like dog poo. The aim was to demonstrate that filled bags should be binned, not thrown into trees, bushes and verges.
They also made hundreds of small anti-dog fouling flags and planted them wherever they discovered dog faeces. Within an area of just 100 metres, the group placed 165 flags.
Their campaign achieved success with dog deposits around the park drastically reduced. A check last month found just three visible piles of dog poo on the park’s trails and they will continue to monitor the situation. Anyone who spots someone not cleaning up after their dog can report it online on the council’s report dog fouling page.