A CODE of conduct for dog walkers is still on the cards for a nature reserve in Helensburgh amid concern over the behaviour of a small minority.

The Friends of Duchess Wood raised the possibility of the initiative in a report for a meeting of the wood’s local nature reserve committee on Tuesday, April 30.

The committee was told last year that a licensing scheme for ‘professional’ dog walkers might be necessary as a result of concerns expressed over people walking five dogs or more.

READ MORE: Dog walkers could need a licence to use Duchess Wood

But Helensburgh councillor Lorna Douglas, who chairs the committee, said that Argyll and Bute Council officials believed it would be impossible to regulate a licence system.

Councillor Douglas said: “If we were to bring in a licensing system, we can’t really regulate it, but we would encourage local dog walkers to register in some way. It would not cost anything.

“It just shows they are being responsible dog walkers. They will only take so many dogs to the wood. Most dog walkers already are responsible.

“There are places down south which do charge for dog walker licences, whereas if we were to introduce them, they would be free.

"But how do you police it, and what do you really want from it?

“I have spoken to a few dog walkers in the woods and I know that a number of dogs can meet up with more dogs.

“I have seen one person in charge of eight dogs at the entrance to the Hill House. I don’t see how you can control that.”

READ MORE: 'Top dogs' enjoy day out in Helensburgh woodland

Mr Grafton added: “I walk three dogs and that’s quite enough.”

Councillor Douglas added: “If it was something that was going to be done, we would need a meeting for the council to go over that, but there will be a number of different models to use.

“It is not just the Duchess Wood that has a problem – it is more an area thing in Helensburgh and Lomond. It would have to come from the council as you could not regulate it yourself.

“Dog owners would need to promote it within themselves.

“The majority of dog walkers are very responsible and are aware of other dogs or other people using the area.”

Stewart Campbell from the Friends added: “The biggest problem we have had in the last six months was with a single dog.”