Brechin dog owners blamed for all-weather pitch shutdown

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The sign at the Inch

Angry locals are thought to have put up a sign shaming irresponsible dog owners who have spoiled the fun of football-playing Brechin youngsters.

The all-weather surface at The Inch was replaced by facilities within the town’s new community campus, but after initially being locked and inaccessible to local kids, they had been playing there in recent months.

However, the padlock and chain has now gone back up on the pitch near the old leisure centre, with a sign saying ‘Sorry for the Inconvenience. Gates Locked Due to Inconsiderate Dog Owners.”

It is believed that Angus Council did not put up the sign, but there is local disappointment that the astro-turf is again out of bounds to children in the area.

Following its original closure after the opening of the £26 million community campus in 2016, the playing surface and perimeter wall of the pitch were subsequently damaged by flood water and the gate was locked.

However, negotiations are continuing with a view to a community group taking over the running of the facility.

Local Jean Clark said her grandsons had been delighted when they were able to get into the ‘cage’ and play football.

“It was locked for a while after the campus opened but just after the summer holidays they came up to visit and were delighted to find the gate open.

“They are 12 and nine and although there is always somebody with them, they thought it was wonderful that they could still use it — they just love to play football.”

She added: “Last weekend they came back up, but when they went round they found the gates locked and the signs up.

“I think it’s important that the kids of Brechin have facilities like this. The campus is quite far away from us and they were able to go somewhere just two minutes away.”

Although dog dirt is an issue which remains a regular feature on the list of community complaints across Angus, she said that the problem of dog dirt had not been something which her grandsons had previously encountered at the all-weather pitch.