New pilot launched to encourage more responsible dog walking
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has launched a new pilot project to help manage the increasing number of professional dog walkers visiting Lennox forest, East Dunbartonshire.
The new Code of Conduct aims to educate and support our four-legged friends, their walkers and owners, to use woodland sites responsibly – ensuring people of all ages and their animals can enjoy them.
Despite the popularity of Lennox Forest for professional dog walking, FLS has unfortunately seen the more negative impact of the increase in these visitors.
Paige Klinkman, area visitor services manager at Forestry and Land Scotland, said: “With professional dog walking services continuing to grow in popularity, more incidents have been reported in the area about dogs creating conflict and large amounts of mess left in public spaces.
“The woodlands that we manage are here for everyone’s enjoyment and we want to make sure they are respected. Our new Code of Conduct is based on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) and is a simple way for dog walkers and owners to be aware of their surroundings and mindful of local authority regulations around safe dog walking.
“We all have a responsibility for our dog’s behaviour in public and to clean up any mess they leave behind. By following these simple rules, we can ensure East Dunbartonshire’s woodlands and greenspaces are kept safe and tidy for all to enjoy.”
FLS is working in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council’s community safety team to roll out the pilot at Lennox Forest which will monitor dog walkers on site and make sure they are adhering to the guidance which is included in the SOAC.
Despite there being no legal controls to regulate professional dog walkers, East Dunbartonshire is just one council administration that has been working hard to highlight and promote best practice .
East Dunbartonshire Council’s Convener of Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, Councillor Billy Hendry, said, “The Council’s Community Safety team has been working proactively with Forestry and Land Scotland to combat the rise of dog fouling and irresponsible dog walking in Lennox Forest in Lennoxtown.
“The team has been conducting joint patrols with FLS staff and has organised a public meeting in Lennoxtown to garner community support to tackle the issues. I would urge local residents to come along and have their say.”
For further information, FLS and East Dunbartonshire Council are holding an information evening on 10th October from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Campsie Memorial Hall, Main Street, Lennoxtown or you can contact Forestry and Land Scotland on 0131 370 5680.
- Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) was established as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 April 2019, following completion of the devolution of forestry as a result of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018. It replaces Forest Enterprise Scotland.
- The purpose of FLS is to manage forests and land owned by Scottish Minsters in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; and delivers benefits for people and nature. FLS may manage other forested and non-forested land by arrangement, as set out in the Act.
- The primary focus of FLS, in delivering its purpose, is to support Scottish Ministers in their role as leaders of Sustainable Forest Management and Sustainable Development through their stewardship of Scotland’s national forests and land.