Leader: Dog dirt is only plight in Capital’s parks

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THE quality of the green spaces in any city are a key part of what makes them great places to live.

So the success of the Capital in scooping almost half the Green Flag awards for clean, safe and well-maintained parks is a fantastic accolade.

The fact that our parks are kept to such a high standard will not come as news to the vast majority of people who make use of them in one way or another on a regular basis. Just as life in communities across the city would be far poorer without the local park to take the children or walk the dog, working in the city centre would also be a much drearier affair without the chance to escape to the gardens in Princes Street and St Andrew Square.

What is perhaps a surprise is to discover that the green space in Edinburgh is so much better than it is in the Dear Green Place of Glasgow.

There is no doubt that the city’s parks are well looked after by the council’s maintenance staff and many volunteer friends groups. Great credit goes to them.

If there is one thing that continues to blight them, it is the vast amount of dog dirt that is still left on playing fields right across the Capital.

There is no way that the parkies and hard-working volunteers can beat that problem on their own. That will require a more concerted effort to educate errant dog owners and hit those who refuse to fall into line where it hurts – in their pocket.

Such a drive need not fall victim to council cuts as our counterparts in Glasgow have shown that taking a tough stand against littering and dog fouling can pay for itself by bringing in a a substantial amount in fines.

But the biggest deterrent is likely to be cost-free – a commitment by the city to name everyone caught letting their dogs foul our parks and streets.

Our parks are beautiful, and well-kept. It’s time we took a stand against those who refuse to treat them with the proper respect.