You may see these yellow flags out and about if you’re walking at Findatie or Burleigh over the next week or two.
Don’t be alarmed, and please don’t get too close! They are in fact highlighting a serious problem both at Loch Leven, and throughout the country, and that is dog fouling. There has been a national radio and media campaign this spring, spear-headed by Jess the Dog, with a view to encouraging responsible behaviour amongst dog owners nationally. This includes keeping dogs under close control in nature sensitive areas, and clearing up after your dog, particularly in public places.
I was assisted by the Conservation in Action group from Kinross High School, who were all supportive of our cause. They were surprised and shocked at how quickly we were able to place 120 flags over a 100 metre stretch from the car park. Earlier that day, with the help of our volunteers, 47 were placed within 50 metres of Findatie car park.
The bottom line is that it is anti-social and unpleasant- nobody likes standing in it, it’s potentially dangerous as a transmitter of diseases, it also threatens the health of livestock and it looks untidy. On a national nature reserve open for locals and visitors to enjoy, it is selfish to think that you don’t have a responsibility to clean up after your dog.
Many thanks to the majority of dog walkers for behaving responsibly by keeping your dogs under control and cleaning up after them. As the sign says- please don’t hesitate to get in touch with either me, other NNR staff at Loch Leven on 01577 864439, or Perth and Kinross Council‘s Dog Warden, Kirsteen MacKenzie on 01738 476476 for more information, or to report an incident.
A dog waste bin is due to be installed at Findatie in the next few days, in addition to the green bins already there, and we are hopeful that the message reaches those it is intended for.