Suzanne Roberts: Dog owners need to get the message

A resident's sign in Circus Lane in Stockbridge. Picture: Greg Macvean

A resident's sign in Circus Lane in Stockbridge. Picture: Greg Macvean

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There are very few issues that raise more concern in communities across Edinburgh than the scourge of dog fouling.

Here at the independent charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, we are today launching our ‘Ditch the Dirt’ fortnight as part of the Clean Up Scotland Campaign.

We want dog owners to enjoy their dogs and take them to enjoy the fantastic open spaces this city and Scotland is renowned for, however, we have a simple message: “Grab it, bag it, bin it – any bin will do!”

Suitably bagged, dog waste can be put in any public litter bin, or the many dedicated dog waste bins. During the Ditch the Dirt fortnight we are asking anyone who would like to be involved to organise a dog fouling survey of their local park or pitch so we can get better understand the problem; a support pack can be downloaded from our website.

It’s great that the Evening News have been taking such a strong stand on this vital issue – and we’re glad you’re backing our Clean Up Scotland campaign, along with City of Edinburgh Council. Lots of Edinburgh residents have already supported our campaign at www.cleanupscotland.com, and I hope many more readers will join too.

Whether you’ve always lived in this city, or are visiting for the first time – you can’t fail to be impressed by its beauty. But too often, the actions of a few irresponsible dog owners let us all down, and leave locals and visitors a tarnished image of this great city. With 2014 bringing the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup – visitors need to see Edinburgh at its very best.

That’s why our Clean Up Scotland campaign has launched this year, and is taking a stand on the environmental incivilities that blight our local environment. That includes tackling those dog owners that let us all down – and we are working with the city council and others to encourage strict enforcement of existing legislation on dog fouling. The message is simple – change your behaviour. Grab it, bag it and bin it – any bin will do.

• Suzanne Roberts is Campaign Co-ordinator for Clean Up Scotland