Grangemouth park's 'pink ladies' patrol having a positive impact
A group of friendly dog walkers who could have stepped off the set of musical Grease with their pink vests have certainly become a welcome sight to behold in a local park.
These Pink Ladies – or Dog Mothers to give them their official title – have been walking their canines around Grangemouth’s Incyhra Park for years, but now they have officially teamed up to become a force for good.
The Dog Mothers – Jen Faulds, Debbie Hannah, Darlene Jenkins, Tracy Nelson and Iris Porter – got their pink vests after Friends of Inchyra’s Adam Gillies saw how positive their everyday actions were for the welfare of the park.
Adam said: “The Dog Mothers have been doing a great job, volunteering for some time in the park, trying to support the improvement works through reducing anti-social behaviour and keeping the place clean and safe for all park users.”
Iris said: “Adam suggested we get he vests and a name to call ourselves. It started off with us walking our dogs in the park and we would meet up, just bumping into each other and walking around.
"There were five of us and we just all started walking the dogs together. We started doing things while we were on our walk, like pick up broken glass if we came across any and put it in the bin.
"You don’t want a dog to hurt its paw on it or a child to cut themselves. Matthew, my son, is autistic and he would come out with us with his grabber to help us pick up the litter.
"Then when we saw young people hanging around the park drinking, we would go and talk to them, instead of getting angry and phoning the police on them.
"We just tried to tell them it’s not the council or anyone else keeping the park tidy, it’s the community who have to do it. One young person told me his gran walks her dog in the park.
"They are just young and I know they’re not even supposed to be drinking – but if you chase them away they will just go to another park, so we try to speak to them and they talk to our dogs and clap them.
"We say are you finished with that bottle, then take it from them and put it in the bin. They think we are doing it to help them, but we don’t want it to end up smashed on the ground.
"Since we started doing it there hasn’t been as much glass as there had been previously.”
And now the Dog Mothers have their pink vests they have become even more noticeable in the park.
"We’ve had them for about a week now,” said Iris. “And more people are stopping to talk to us and shouting across to us and waving to us.”
Inchyra Park has had problems with vandalism in the past, but things are now looking good as summer approaches with the Dog Mothers’ help getting the message across to young people to make them realise it is their park too and they should do their bit to protect it.
Iris said: “Adam’s been brilliant getting everything together in the park – it’s looking really, really nice just now.”