WOOFS no shaggy-dog story

The future of the successful WOOFS (Waste Off Our Footpaths) scheme, providing dog owners with free dog waste bags each month, is uncertain.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 17th January 2014, 1:30 pm

Scottish Borders Council wardens Laurie Wood and David McKinlay came up with the idea of providing free dog waste bags to dog owners to try and change attitudes about dog fouling. They joined forces with Berwickshire Community Safety Panel who secured funding for the scheme and dog owners across Berwickshire signed up to WOOFs.

However, the loss of the wardens service and problems with funding mean there is doubt about whether WOOFS can continue.

At last week’s Berwickshire Area Forum meeting, Councillor Frances Renton said: “Funding was taken up by the Berwickshire Community Safety Panel but it is becoming more difficult to continue funding it - costs are £2,500 every two to three months.

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“It was started as a pilot and an educational process and it has been a victim of its own success.”

Kym Bannerman from Grantshouse Community Council is keen to see WOOFS continue: “There is a desire to maintain the scheme if funding can be found.”

Even if an alternative source of funding could be found (wind farm community funds were one option considered) or a £1 a month payment scheme introduced, there is the additional problem of distributing the bags - a job previously done by SBC wardens. A volunteer from each community in Berwickshire would be needed to be the pick-up point and co-ordinate distribution of the bags.