Dog dirt danger driving Hawick dad to distraction

A concerned dad who walks his five-year-old daughter to and from school says he is now considering driving her in instead because he’s so fed up about the amount of dog dirt they encounter en route.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 31st October 2019, 4:30 pm
Calum Ross and daughter Ella dodge dog dirt on their walk to Trinity Primary School in Hawick.
Calum Ross and daughter Ella dodge dog dirt on their walk to Trinity Primary School in Hawick.

Calum Ross accompanies daughter Ella to Trinity Primary School in Hawick’s Arthur Street in the morning and picks her up in the afternoon.

It’s only a 10-minute walk but they often come across at five or more piles of dog dirt, he says.

Due to health concerns, Calum, 52, a self-employed copy editor and proofreader, says he is now pondering whether it would be safer to make the short journeys in his car.

Calum, of Dalkeith Place in Hawick, said: “I’m seriously considering using the car from now on as I’m fed up playing avoid the dog mess.

“It seems to me the problem is getting worse. Why are there so many lazy dog owners?”

Areas of particular concern to him are Arthur Street, Trinity Street and Duke Street.

Calum added: “It’s less than 10 minutes to the school, but we come across five or six piles of dog mess on every journey.

“When we get to the big roundabout at Morrisons and turn right past Beattie’s funeral director’s, there’s quite often a problem there and also by the old Buccleuch Hotel.

“It’s bad enough for me walking a five-year-old child and trying to avoid the dog dirt, but it’s even worse for those walking and pushing buggies to get to the school.

“I go jogging and so does my wife with her pals, and now it’s getting dark you don’t know what you are stepping in when you are running across leaves.”

Since posting his concerns on Facebook, Calum has received dozens of supportive messages.

Rosalyn Walker criticised Scottish Borders Council for not tackling the problem, saying: “The council are neglecting their public duty to maintain cleansing in streets and open areas.

“In other places, a brushing vehicle simply runs along pavements early every day.”

A spokesperson for the council said: “While dog fouling is an issue for the whole community, the council has been working with a number of schools in the Borders around the importance of responsible dog ownership.

“Among the activities has been a dog poo survey, which sees pupils work with the dog education officer to survey a problem area near their school, which is then cleaned by our neighbourhoods team.

“Anti-dog fouling signage and stencils are then put in place, following discussions with the children, to encourage owners to pick up after their pets, with a further survey carried out to see if there has been an improvement.

“Our dog education officer would be happy to work with the school in this area.”

Members of the public can report an issue with dog fouling at or call 0300 100 1800.