Flagging up the Issue – Part 2

It was the last Wednesday of volunteering for 2013 yesterday, and David suggested another effort was made to highlight the issue of dog fouling at Loch Leven.  As a fellow dog walker, David is as frustrated and disappointed by the dog mess that is left behind at certain parts of the Heritage Trail as I am.

The flags and signs have been deployed between the South Quiech and Factory Bay hide

The flags and signs have been deployed between the South Quiech and Factory Bay hide

The beginning of the flagged area

The beginning of the flagged area

Earlier this year I ran a campaign with the help of volunteers and a group of Kinross High School students, focusing our efforts on Burleigh Sands and Findatie car park.  Crucially, the areas within which we flagged up dog mess were within 200 metres of a dog bin.  The media attention that the campaign received, along with the visual impact that these flags have on other path-users helped to reinforce the message that this anti-social behaviour is unacceptable, both on a National Nature Reserve, and in outdoor public spaces generally.

The amount of mess in such a small area is shocking- particularly when it is highlighted by flags

The amount of mess in such a small area is shocking- particularly when it is highlighted by flags

David, Alan and new volunteer Louise wasted no time in finding enough dog poo to deploy all 45 flags that we had ready, and this only covered a short distance from the South Quiech bridge to the new Factory Bay hide.  The message on the signs is clear- Dog owners please bag it and bin it!  The Perth and Kinross Council Dog Warden, Kirsteen Mackenzie can be contacted if there is an incident or issue that you feel is worth reporting, or you can also contact me at the reserve office (see poster above for contact details).

With the flags deployed, we were able to get on with the day’s task of repairing the screening fence along side the Factory Bay hide, some of which had been blown over by the wind, and some of which had clearly been kicked through.

Three panels had been blown over by recent strong winds

Three panels had been blown over by recent strong winds

The team loaded the equipment, and set off for some serious fence fixing

The team loaded the equipment, and set off for some serious fence fixing

Discussions were ongoing as to the most robust method of securing the new screening

Discussions were ongoing as to the most robust method of securing the new screening

 

The screening was collected and transported by our trusty steed, the Iron Horse

The screening was collected and transported by our trusty steed, the Iron Horse

Finishing as the sun went down and the weather turned, we were proud of a job well done!

Finishing as the sun went down and the weather turned, we were proud of a job well done!

...the stock fencing on the other side of the hide was also extended

…the stock fencing on the other side of the hide was also extended

Louise found the 'Volunteer Duck' under the hide whilst she and David worked to secure the bench.  I suspect we've not seen the last of this!

Louise found the ‘Volunteer Duck’ under the hide whilst she and David worked to secure the bench that had been knocked loose in the hide. I suspect we’ve not seen the last of this!

New willow screening was put in to replace the damaged section, and some fencing improvements were made to ensure that for the time-being, the fence remained in tact, safe, and serving its purpose of screening the path from wildlife on the loch.

 

 

 

About Craig.Nisbet

Reserve Officer Loch Leven National Nature Reserve Scottish Natural Heritage
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