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Community encouraged to stay safe and remain respectful as golf resumes at Ellon's McDonald Park

By Kirsty Brown

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A North-east community is being encouraged to stay safe and remain respectful as the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown takes effect this week.

The Scottish Government is now allowing people to enjoy unrestricted outdoor exercise and activities such as golf, hiking and angling while remaining consistent with the wider rules and guidance applicable to any activity during this initial phase.

However, the reintroduction of golf has given rise to fears that people could put themselves at risk when walking through the McDonald Public Park at Ellon.

During a recent meeting, McDonald Public Park Endowment Trustees were advised that prior to lockdown, some people continued to put themselves at risk by walking out in front of golfers.

The McDonald Park is currently enjoyed by walkers and joggers, as well as being the home of a popular golf club, however due to the nature of the game, players may not see a person emerging in front of them until they have already hit their shot.

Being struck by a golf ball travelling at speeds of up to 50mph can have life-changing effects.

Trustees are now making a plea for all park users to observe the signage, to be aware of golfers and to be respectful of waiting for them to complete a shot before walking on, even on the main park avenue which also forms part of the course.

There have also been concerns that a minority of dog walkers are failing to pick up their pet’s waste.

Those present at the meeting agreed that it is of vital importance that everyone remains vigilant to prevent this type of behavior which not only spoils the enjoyment of the park for everyone but can pose a serious risk to health.

McDonald Golf Club has also asked that, where necessary, people deposit their dog waste into the bins provided by Aberdeenshire Council rather than the club bins.

Club workers who deal with the golf club’s own bins remove items such as plastic bottles and cans for recycling, however dog waste within the bins is preventing them from doing so.

The Trustees have approached Aberdeenshire Council to investigate the possibility of installing bins at accessible areas within the park.

Speaking on behalf of the Trustees, chair Isobel Davidson said: “We hope that all park users can remain respectful of each other, to ensure the ongoing enjoyment of the park for all.”

The McDonald Public Park Endowment was established for the upkeep of the park and the provision of recreational facilities.

Aberdeenshire Council acts as sole trustee for the McDonald Public Park Endowment, with local councillors acting on behalf of the local authority as trustee representatives.

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