Cairngorms National Park

View to Braemar

Dogs in the dark do doo doos!

29th October 2009

The clocks changed last weekend (25 October) bringing British summer time to an end and marking the onset of winter but has the hour change changed your dog walking habits?

“Without being too blunt, walking your dog in the dark and not being able to see what it is up to is no excuse for not cleaning up after it”, explains Justin Prigmore, Outdoor Access Officer at the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).

The CNPA, along with Aberdeenshire Council, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and the National Trust for Scotland (NTS is embarking on a wide ranging campaign promoting responsible outdoor access with dogs so that everyone can enjoy the countryside to the max. Kicking off this campaign is the group’s efforts to encourage everyone to “bag it and bin it”!

Millions of people across the country enjoy the outdoors in the company of their much-loved family dogs and the majority of people act very responsibly by keeping dogs under close control near livestock or in areas where there could be capercaillie. The issue that the group is keen to tackle first is cleaning up your dog’s waste. Justin added “Walking is a great way to keep fit and healthy and having a family dog encourages people to be far more active so it’s important to continue to give your pooch a good walk every day but we do appreciate that it’s more difficult after the clocks change.

“Even the most diligent dog walkers may let good habits slip after dark and not remove their dog’s poo! We are encouraging everyone who has to walk their dog in the dark after a day at work to remember to take a torch with them – and a bag of course – and clean up after their dog in the usual way, being sure to put waste in a bin.”

NTS senior ranger Fiona Milne, herself a dog lover said: “It’s not just dog fouling in towns that is a problem – seeing where your dog goes in the countryside is difficult enough in daylight! We want to encourage people to continue their good dog walking habits when out in the evenings, which means remembering to take a torch.”

This new outdoor access campaign will see a variety of events taking place over the coming months. These are aimed at helping raise awareness about responsible dog ownership and to influence behaviour to ensure more people adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code for the benefit of other recreation users, land managers and conservation interests.

For more information about this campaign to promote responsible outdoor access with dogs, please contact Justin Prigmore at the CNPA on tel: 01479 870533 or email: justinprigmore@cairngorms.co.uk