HORSE riders are being blamed for leaving a trail of destruction in cemeteries and greenland spaces.

East Dunbartonshire Council has warned riders to show greater respect after damage was caused to grass and lairs and horses left droppings in cemeteries.

Anumber of public green spaces have also been affected, especially around Lenzie, where paths and walkways have been unable to cope with the increased use.

Auld Aisle cemetery in Kirkintilloch, which has graves dating to the eighteenth century, has been badly affected and the council has asked riders to reconsider their route after complaints from visitors.

Robert McFadden, a 45year-old resident, said: "It is bad enough people walking dogs in the cemetery and letting their animals use it as a toilet, but it is beyond belief that horse riders are now doing it.

"You can only imagine how families must feel when they come here to tend a loved one's grave and find it covered in holes from the horses' hooves.

"I was glad to hear that the council was taking action to clamp down on this, as it shows a complete lack of sensitivity and respect."

Martin McKenna, commercial manager for the council's greenspace service, said: "There has been media coverage about motorbikes and quad bikes being driven through parks and on open spaces.

"However, the damage caused by horses galloping over grassed areas and paths has actually been worse and is distressing for people visiting the cemeteries."

Mark Weston, director of access, safety and welfare at the British Horse Society, said: "Riders must adhere to the Scottish access outdoor code and must show respect for others, as well as taking responsibility for their own actions."