Lanark Primary children are lucky to have the new school’s extensive grounds for outdoor pursuits and gardening.
But at times the grounds are declared out of bounds - because dog walkers are tossing filled bags of poo over the fence into the school’s woodlands.
The walkers, on Stuart Drive and the Roddings, go to the trouble of clearing up after their pets, but instead of carrying it to the nearest bin, some are simply slinging the bags over into the school ground.
A volunteer worker with the schoolchildren, Ernest Romer who chairs Lanark in Bloom, contacted the Gazette days after he and janitor Ronnie Curran had separately lifted dozens of the bags.
Ernest, carrying out a litter pick, had lifted over 30 bags, while on another occasion in recent weeks the janitor had cleared up 27 disgusting poo-filled bags.
And the school confirmed this week that now staff have to check whether the area is clean, and the children had to be kept out of it if it was not, because of the unhealthy habits of a few dog walkers.
Farah Crook, head teacher of Lanark Primary School and Nursery Class, said: “Members of the community should be aware that these woodlands are part of the school grounds and should be accessible to pupils and staff at all times.
“It is shocking to think that dog waste has been dumped here without any regard for the health and safety of our children.
“Our fantastic janitor Mr Curran and our gardening expert volunteer Mr Romer have had to spend considerable time and effort clearing and disposing of this waste, which is certainly not the best use of their time.
“This needs to stop now for the protection of our environment and those who use it”
And Ernest told the Gazette: “Everyone should know that that is school ground.
“Basically it is a play area for the kids.
“It is their right to play in it, and because of the mess it is in at the moment, the headmistress has had to keep them out of it.”
And he said he had been “shocked” at the mass of filled green council-issue bags he had found on his clear-up.
He had intended to organise the pupils in a litter pick of the ground, but - fortunately - they were too involved in a class project, and he had started the clear up himself.
“It is absolutely terrible,” he added.
He hoped the council could help by providing a dog poo bin on Stuart Drive.
You are causing an offence ...
Police constable James Higgins told the Gazette: ‘‘Any person taking charge of a dog in any public place is responsible for cleaning up after the animal.
“Those walking a dog must have appropriate material for clearing up after the animal, and the only acceptable disposal point is a bin.
‘‘Anyone witnessing this behaviour should contact the council who are able to issue fixed penalties, as are the police.”