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Lhanbryde kids raise dog mess issue

By SPP Reporter

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Classes from Primary 3/4 and Primary 6 at Lhanbryde Primary School are appealing to dog owners to clean up after their pets.
Classes from Primary 3/4 and Primary 6 at Lhanbryde Primary School are appealing to dog owners to clean up after their pets.

CHILDREN at a Moray primary school are urging dog owners to clean up after their pets.

Pupils at Lhanbryde Primary have written letters to ‘The Northern Scot’ and made posters in the hope of persuading the public to keep the streets clean.

Primary 6 pupils wrote a series of letters to the ‘Scot’ last week, one of which was published on the letters page. They complained after finding more than 30 piles of dog mess during a single walk around the school and local streets and fields, while accompanied by their teacher, Lein Matheson.

They also wrote that “dog muck spoils our fun, attracts bugs and is a waste of time to clean it off our shoes”.As well as the letters, Primary 3/4 children have also created posters, with the help of teacher Michelle Anderson, which will be pinned up around the village.

The school project stemmed from a suggestion by parent Jane Gallicker. She walks her children to school each day, and also explained that her father, who has Parkinson’s Disease, is unable to avoid the dog dirt as he can not step over it.

She asked headteacher Gillian Ross whether there would be an opportunity for the school to lend its support. “It’s just got really, really bad,” Jane said.

“I approached Mrs Ross and said this is getting really bad and can we do something about it as a school and a community to let them know they have to pick it up.

“There’s no excuse, but we could really do with some more dog bins around Garmouth Road, or just bins even. There’s just one bin at the shop and another at the graveyard, and that’s it.

“I am just hoping this will make people think.”

Mrs Matheson said the school was happy to help out.

“We went on a recce with the pupils and then came back and discussed what their points were. They wrote the letters to try to appeal to the villagers and ask them to be a wee bit more responsible and thoughtful.”

Primary 6 youngster Owen Brown said the pupils just want owners to clean up after their dogs.

“On one occasion we found 30 dog messes, and some were only a few metres away from the bin,” he said.

“We sent letters to the Northern Scot and one of our letters was in last week. We sent them so the people of Lhanbryde can read them. It’s been surprising just how many people just don’t seem to care.”

Fellow pupil Cameron Bell said that at this time of year, the dog mess can be disguised in leaves or snow when the children are playing.

“It’s horrible,” he said.

Classmate Andrew Wilson added: “It’s their responsibility. It’s not fair on us to step in it then we have to come inside and clean up and we miss our fun."Primary 6 youngster Matthew McLuckie said the problem has been getting worse, and he hoped people will listen to the concerns of the pupils.

“There’s a steady increase in the population and so there’s more dog owners and dogs,” he said.

“Most dog owners are responsible but a few aren’t. There are more dogs and so there is more poop.

“We want to tackle it now, and then if new people move here, there will be posters and hopefully laws to let them know it’s not OK.”

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