Villagers’ plea: pick up after pets in playpark

Signs urging dog owners to be responsible have been erected at the Tayinloan playpark.
Signs urging dog owners to be responsible have been erected at the Tayinloan playpark.

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A group that spent years raising money to built a state-of-the-art playpark in Tayinloan is appealing to dog owners to pick up after their pets.

The plea from Tayinloan Villagers’ Association (TVA) comes after increasing reports of dog fouling, not only in the field surrounding the park but also on some of the play equipment.

Despite a bin recently being positioned at the top of the playing field and the erection of signs asking people to keep their dogs on leads while at the park, and reminding them that dog fouling is an offence, the problem has increased.

Signs urging dog owners to be responsible have been erected at the Tayinloan playpark.
Signs urging dog owners to be responsible have been erected at the Tayinloan playpark.

The playpark, installed by playground equipment manufacturer and designer Playdale, was only officially opened in February last year and has become one of Kintyre’s most popular playgrounds.

The £56,000 facility was funded by: The Balure Trust, West Kintyre Wind Farm Trust, West Kintyre Community Fund, The Rotary Club of Campbeltown, Argyll Beats Cardiovascular Disease, The Claremont Trust, Cour Community Benefit Fund, The Big Lottery, Argyll and Bute Council’s Supporting Communities Fund and Rhunahaorine Primary School, which organised a fundraising quiz.

The playpark, which features swings, slides, climbing frames, a zip wire, a gravity rider and a toy train, catering for children of all ages, replaced dilapidated play equipment which had become unusable after decades of wear and tear.

TVA chairperson Donald McDonald told the Courier: ‘Having spent a considerable amount of money from local organisations erecting a new play area for the children of the village and others who may be passing through to enjoy, we now find that there is a total disregard for the safety of the children by some owners allowing their dogs to do their business in and around the play area, then failing to pick it up and dispose of it in the bin provided.

‘If this irresponsibility continues, we will seek to ban dogs completely from the playing field. If I covered their dogs in their own droppings the owner would not be amused, so why allow their dog to do it to children?’

The association’s treasurer, Caroline Smith, added: ‘We are very disappointed at the dog fouling in the playpark. There was fouling inside the train in which the children sit which is totally unacceptable.

‘My two-year-old grandson was walking through the playpark recently and fell into it. You would think a children’s play area would be safe and clean for children to play and not treated with total disrespect by some dog owners.’

Charlotte O'Hanlon sits on the toy train which is being driven by Callan McKay.
Dog mess has been discovered on some of the play equipment, including the toy train.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: ‘We would urge dog owners to behave responsibly and to clean up after their dogs to keep the areas clean that everyone shares. Most people do.

‘The public can help us by contacting our Customer Service Centre on 01546 605514 and providing information which assists the wardens in addressing the issue and potentially catching offending dog owners in the act of not cleaning up after their pet.’