Published: 09/02/2018 07:00 - Updated: 02/02/2018 09:51

Litter campaign cleans up with a canine twist

Written byNicole Webber

 

litter
Dog walkers are being urged to help clear areas of litter when they are out and about.

DOG owners and their furry friends are on a mission to clean up Ross-shire streets, shores and countryside after a rallying call on Facebook won widespread support.

Everywhere from Alness to Ullapool has seen locals get involved in the "my walk, my bag" scheme, with each person picking up a bag of rubbish while on their daily wanders with their beloved pooch.

Dingwall woman Lauren Wilson only made the litter-picking call on her Highland Dogblog group a few days ago – but her appeal has already won more than 100 people to the cause, each of whom has picked up a bag of litter.

Ms Wilson (46) and her dog Selkie hope to raise awareness by having people post photographs of their dogs alongside the bags of rubbish collected on their walk.

She said she was inspired to do something herself after watching a video of a man swimming in the Arctic to raise awareness of plastic pollution.

"The campaign is going brilliantly," she said

"We’ve well over a hundred dog owners out and about participating and more signing up all the time now."

"What made it easy for us was that we had our own litter pick before but the impact only affects a certain area and only reaches the people who can come on the day.

"This campaign has made it something people can do wherever they are. We have even had a lady from Benbecula in touch with us who was out with her bag."

She believes that by taking advantage of everyone’s dog walking, even if they only take part one weekend a month, they will see a huge difference.

She added that as well as the usual items of rubbish, those taking part had also found some strange items that had been left behind by litter bugs in the Highlands.

"We have collected loads of plastic, beer cans, underwear," she said. "There seems to be lots of underpants found in woods and single shoes. There was also a hosepipe found in the hills above Kinlochbervie which was strange.

She added: "I think it will inspire other people to join us. People are already coming up to us and asking what we are doing. I think the doggie community will really respond. Hopefully we will see it happen over the whole year."

Her appeal has struck a chord with dog walkers – a frequently updated map on the Highland Dogblog group shows how the scheme is already spreading across Scotland.

People in England and Australia has also been getting involved online thanks to the reach of social media. As well as cutting down on litter the scheme may also help improve the reputation of dog owners who are often criticised for allowing their dogs to foul in the open or who litter dog waste bags.

The Highland Dogblog on Facebook has almost 10,000 likes and is open to everyone.

To find out more about campaign and to sign up, visit www.facebook.com/Highland.Dogblog

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