Fake pick up after your horse signs to be removed

Pick up after your horse fake signs

Pick up after your horse signs to be removed as local councillor declares them fake!

Sophisticated signs bearing Edinburgh’s local authority logo have been screwed to trees along the Water of Leith walkway which clearly display the wording “Please pick up after your horse”. Locals believed that the signs had been attached to the trees by Edinburgh City Council, however, it has been confirmed by a local councillor that it appears to be the work of a local individual(s) trying to take matters into their own hands.

Councillor Scott Arthur, convenor of the local transport and environmental committee posted on social media an explanation that the signage was “not installed or approved by the City of Edinburgh National Heritage team” and confirmed that an investigation is ongoing to try to identify who is responsible, urging people to get in touch with any information. In the meantime, Councillor Arthur has stated:

The Council will arrange for these signs to be taken down. Whilst it appreciates the inconvenience horse dung presents, horse riders are entitled to use this route and there is no legislation which prevents horse fouling, unlike dog faeces which can pose a significant health risk to humans, particularly young children, horse manure does not present a health risk”.


He further stated “With that said, horse riders are encouraged by the council to follow good practice as provided by the British Horse Society (BHS) which states “whenever possible move your horse off the path before it dungs”.

Nevertheless, some locals have asked for the signs to be left in place, one local stating the horse manure on the walkway was “beyond belief” saying that pedestrians had to watch their step during their walks. Another resident has called it a “waste of manpower” to remove the signs.

The BHS does provide advice on its website stating that:

Horse dung is …

  • Harmless to humans and animals
  • Mainly digested grass
  • Quickly biodegradable
  • Good for biodiversity
  • Useful in a compost bin in small amounts

Unlike dog faeces, dung from a healthy horse presents no threat to human health, but horses depositing dung on a popular path is often given as a reason against horse access or as a point of conflict. In 2021 questions around this issue were discussed in Parliament around cleaning horse dung from roads. The response was that equestrians are not required to clear manure as it is not toxic.  BHS also points out that, whilst some horses may slow down or stop when they need to defecate, some do not and so their owners/riders are unaware that they have left droppings behind.


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