Forest plea to dog owners

Forestry Commission Scotland is urging dog owners who visit Countesswells Forest to get their act together and clean up after their dog.

The call comes after increasing numbers of complaints from other users.

Recreation and communities ranger for the area, Emily Holmes, said: “Countesswells is a really beautiful wood to explore, whether you are walking, running, cycling or horse riding. Children also regularly use this forest with outdoor education classes to explore and learn and to build their confidence in the natural environment.

“However all of this really good activity is being spoiled because some irresponsible dog owners are not clearing up after their animals. It’s a basic lack of courtesy and consideration and probably a sign of laziness – especially when free bags and dog poo bins are provided.

“We’re not prepared to put up with it and are urging all dog owners to clean up their act.”

In addition to being a foul smelling and unsightly mess, dog poo may contain various organisms and parasites such as E. coli, tapeworm, and roundworm and toxocariasis, which can spread diseases.

Mandy Tulloch from Mudpies uses the forest to run outdoor education sessions for children and is frequently having to apologise to distraught parents.

Emily added: “It’s a real shame that the few irresponsible owners are giving all dog owners a bad name. The majority are very good and we hope that they’ll help us to spread the message to keep our forest clean.”

It is an offense not to clean up after your dog in a public area, and the dog warden regularly visits the forest and can issue penalty notices.