Dishing the dirt

BROADWOOD Loch has been identified as one of a handful of Lanarkshire locations to be targeted by a get-tough team in plain clothes.

Their mission is to stop selfish pet owners who fail to clean up after their dogs and issue £40 fixed penalty notices to those responsible.

One such notice has already been dished out in recent weeks and new signs have been created warning dog walkers that they could be next, if the warning is ignored.

The artificial lake is one of the town’s most popular green spaces and has traditionally been a haven for dog walkers.

However, the new initiative has come about following talks from North Lanarkshire Council, Strathclyde Police and independent councillor Alan O’Brien, after a series of complaints from locals.

Councillor O’Brien said: “It took a long time to get a complete path all the way around the loch and it’s great to see it’s being so well used.

“However, it’s very sad to see an extremely small amount of inconsiderate individuals ruin it for the majority. Nobody should have to worry about their visit to the loch being ruined by dog mess. Most dog owners now pick up. So the new systems are designed to identify the inconsiderate minority so that enforcement action can be taken,’’ he added.

NLC environmental protection manager Mark Findlay confirmed: “We are aware of issues with dog fouling on the grass areas beside the paths around Broadwood Loch, particularly on the ground closest to the housing.

“Officers from the council met with Councillor O’Brien and agreed to erect additional signage warning that dog fouling is an offence. This has now been done and we will continue to monitor the area,’’ he said.