Ranger highlights dog fouling problem with spray paint at Aberdeenshire beauty spot

A council ranger has taken on a novel approach to highlighting, quite literally, a dog fouling problem at a North-east beauty spot.

Dog mess on Bennachie has been spotted circled in bright orange paint.

Garioch ranger Alison Sutherland is behind the highlighting, which uses a biodegradable spray.

The paint is aimed at drawing attention to how bad the problem is and making irresponsible dog owners think before they leave their pet’s mess behind.

Alison said: “Unbagged dog poo has been an issue at the Bennachie Visitor Centre for many years and seems to be getting worse as the area is getting more and more popular with dog walkers.

“Members of the public frequently comment to centre staff about how lovely a walk they have had, but express their disappointment to see how much dog mess there is either lying on or next to the path.

“As a way to highlight this issue to irresponsible dog owners, the ranger service, with permission from landowners the Forestry Commission, have worked with schools and groups for the last few years creating posters and using biodegradable spray around the dog poo to raise awareness.

“This highlights how much unbagged dog poo there is around. Dog walkers are welcome, but we need to tackle those who are irresponsible.”

A spokesman for Forest Enterprise Scotland said: “A fantastic walk in some spectacular countryside can be ruined because irresponsible dog owners do not clean up after their animals.

“Owners need to bag dog waste, take it off site and dispose of it appropriately. Not doing so is antisocial behaviour.

“We appreciate that this issue frustrates a lot of people but the only real solution is for dog owners to be grown up about it and take responsibility for their animals.”

A spokeswoman for the Bailies of Bennachie said: “The Bailies of Bennachie support Green Dog Walkers, and would like to see dog owners ‘bag it and bin it’. We urge all dog walkers to be responsible as Bennachie is there to be enjoyed by all.

“Highlighting the poo shows how big a problem there is on Bennachie.”