Friday, 23 July 2010

Dogs : Scottish Outdoor Access Code

After the Attack on the Swan and Looking for clarification on the question of dogs, I contacted SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage ).

I was given a reply relating to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, excerpts as follows :

During the bird breeding season (usually April to July), keep your dog under close control or on a short lead in areas such as moorland, forests, grassland, loch shores and the seashore.
In recreation areas and other public places avoid causing concern to others by keeping your dog under close control or on a short lead, and
pick up and remove your dog's faeces if it defecates in a public open place.

The above does not specify Swans Island nest site or riverside, but according to SNH It can be taken that this is covered by the Access code.

The Swans and ducks on the River Nairn start nesting in March and it is up to owners to take responsibilty for their dogs actions every single day of the dogs life !

Even now there are 70 or so birds in the river that cannot yet fly, either because they are too young or moulting. Dogs like to chase things, be it a ball, a stick or a bird.

It's a sad state of affairs when I have to request signs be put up, because I am a dog owner myself and no lover of signs either. However we have a duty to protect the environment and all other living creatures that share it with us. Irresponsible dog owners are very much the minority so it is up to the majority to hold the minority to account for their actions - or lack of it.


Brian @ My said...

No worries, JT, and thanks for the clarification. I grew up around dogs, my family having a preference for German Shepherds. One of the key lessons my mum always instilled is that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Being a responsible dog owner is being a good dog owner, and I doubt many of those will complain. There are, however, obviously some people who are either unwilling or unable to be responible.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, yesterday (3/8/2010 around 17.30hrs), I observed a collie well out of control in the RSPB reserve off Nairn east beach at Kingsteps. It was being allowed to run riot through the birds in the large pool at that location, with the owner walking listening to a personal stereo. Is that control? Whilst it might not be nesting season, strictly speaking, I was shocked at the owner's reaction when I pointed out how undesirable the dog's actions were. She (the owner) was completely uninterested in my concerns when I voiced them, defensive and arrogant as a reaction and showed no signs of bringing the dog to heel. The birds may not be nesting, but there will be young birds about and any disruption to wildlife in such an environmentally sensitive area is really wrong.

jayteescot1 said...

Unfortunately Nigel, as Brian points out above..."some people are either unwilling or unable to be responsible". It's not so bad if the birds are able to instantly take to the air, but what about those that can't ?