Green Dog Walkers

What is the Green Dog Walkers scheme?

The Green Dog Walkers (Highland) Scheme is a community led initiative to combat dog fouling in Highland.

Dog fouling is a huge ongoing issue all over the Highland Council area and a number of Tenant and Community groups have asked us what they can do to combat it? When the Green Dog Walkers scheme was brought to our attention it was felt that this may be a solution.

Green Dog Walkers (GDW) is a non-confrontational, friendly way to change attitudes about dog fouling in the Highland Council area. Volunteers wear a GDW wristband (or their dogs wear the green GDW collar) which signifies that they have "taken the pledge" to always:

  • clean up after their dog
  • wear the wristband or put the GDW collar on their dog when walking their dog
  • carry extra dog waste bags
  • be happy to be approached to 'lend' a dog waste bag to those without
  • be a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dogs

The Green Dog Walkers wrist band or dog collar acts as a friendly reminder to please pick up after your dog.

The story so far…

The Green Dog Walkers campaign was initially started up in the Falkirk Council area by a local community group (Community Green Initiative) and supported by Falkirk Council. Within 18 months a reduction in dog fouling of up to 99% had been reported in Dunipace, Falkirk! The project has been so successful that Falkirk Council decided to trademark the scheme and license it out to other local authority areas

In February 2010 the scheme won the UK Kennel Club Dog Recognition Award and had a presence at the 2010 Crufts Dog Show

How you can become a Green Dog Walker

The Green Dog Walkers Scheme is designed to be run by local community groups in their own communities – contact us to find out if there is already a group in your area. If there is not, then you might want to think about starting one up!

Are you a Community Group or Tenants’ Group?

You can run your own scheme by adopting the GDW in your area.

To adopt the GDW you need to:

  • be a constituted community group
  • be able to administer the project e.g. distribution of materials, meeting mailing costs, etc.
  • help with promotion of the campaign in your area
  • run or take part as a volunteer in at least 3 pledge booths or GDW events annually
  • help with the monitoring and evaluating of the campaign at a local level e.g. before and after surveys, participate in questionnaires sent and feedback on the number of volunteers approached to ask for a dog bag etc.

The Highland Council has created a GDW starter pack, free of charge for groups who wish to adopt the scheme.  The scheme is being coordinated and supported by the area Tenant Participation Officer and local Community Wardens and Dog Wardens.

The starter pack

The pack will contain:

  • a starter supply of wristbands
  • a starter supply of dog collars
  • a starter supply of leaflets (with pledge forms included)
  • posters
  • a box of dog waste disposal bags 
  • tips sheets on how to run a GDW campaign

In addition to providing the starter packs The Highland Council will provide ongoing support and advice to all groups signing up to Green Dog Walkers, helping to promote the campaign Council wide.

Please get in contact if you are interested in rolling out the campaign in your local neighborhood or would like some more information. We will be happy to meet and discuss the project in more detail.

For further information call 01349 868471 or email greendogwalkers@highland.gov.uk.

The facts...

  • the Scotland Dog Fouling Act 2003 fines from £40 - £500
  • 52% of UK households have a pet
  • there are 7 million UK dog owners

However, it is safe to clean it up "on the spot".