No sheep worrying incidents this year thanks to successful campaign

For a second year, April saw the ‘lambing awareness’ initiative implemented in the Flotterstone Glen area of the Pentland Hills Regional Park; in a joint partnership between the Lothian and Borders Police and the Pentland Hills Regional Park.

The initiative was set up in response to an increasing level of sheep worrying incidents by dogs in Regional Park; with sheep and lambs being chased and attacked, leading to injuries and in some cases, the death of the animals. As well as affecting the livelihood of farmers, these incidents also cause significant distress to dog owners and can spoil an otherwise enjoyable visit to the Pentland Hills.

Lothian and Borders Police patrolled the Flotterstone Glen area at the weekends, using their specialised off-road vehicles. During these patrols they spoke to the public about the initiative.

Countryside Rangers from the Council's Natural Heritage Service installed highly visible signs at key access points into the Flotterstone Glen area, highlighting lambing season and sheep worrying. The Rangers also spent time at the weekends giving information and advice to dog owners.

Community Sergeant Michele Lindsay from Lothian and Borders Police said: "I am delighted that the second year of this initiative has been so successful. 

"Throughout the campaign, our officers have been encouraged by the positive response from members of the public, and we would like to thank them for their assistance.

"There is no doubt that partnership working is key to these positive results, and really highlights the good working relationship between the police, local farmers, and the Natural Heritage Service."

Susan Falconer, Senior Countryside Ranger, was delighted that the initiative had been implemented for a second year and has had a significant effect.

She said: "It's particularly encouraging that visitors have been so receptive to the advice provided. At the end of the day we want people to enjoy their visit to the Regional Park while respecting the needs of those earning their living in the hills".

Susan and Alistair Cowan who sheep farm at Eastside, believe that the initiative continuing for a second year has made a real difference, "We have had no sheep worrying incidents again this year and noticed more people with their dogs on leads so the police presence and the publicity is definitely having a beneficial effect in educating the general public".

Lynn Graham who owns Kirkton Farm, in the Flotterstone Glen area, has had a significant decrease in sheep worrying incidents and has had no fatalities this year. In previous years they have lost around 10 sheep per lambing season.

With lambing season finished for the year, the Regional Park would like to remind dog owners of their responsibilities:

  • never let your dog worry or attack livestock;
  • keep your dog under close control at all times and on a short lead if near sheep;
  • it is a criminal offence to allow your dog to chase or attack sheep, no matter the time of year;
  • enjoy your visit. The Pentland Hills is a wonderful place to visit. Please respect those who live and work in the Regional Park by always keeping your dog under proper control.

For further information, please contact the Pentland Hills Regional Park on 0131 445 3383 or visit the website


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