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Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated at Scotland’s reservoirs

By David G Scott

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Visitors are being asked to respect Scotland’s reservoirs and behave responsibly around them during the summer holiday period.

Reservoirs are expected to attract higher than normal numbers of people keen to enjoy the outdoors during the first summer since the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Scottish Water is supporting VisitScotland’s Keep Scotland Unspoiled campaign and is asking reservoir visitors to respect, protect and enjoy these beauty spots safely and responsibly.

Anti-social behaviour has been an issue in recent years at reservoirs. Picture: Chris Watt
Anti-social behaviour has been an issue in recent years at reservoirs. Picture: Chris Watt

Anti-social behaviour has been an issue in recent years at reservoirs such as Gladhouse and Clubbiedean, near Edinburgh; Lintrathen and Backwater, which supply water to Dundee and Perth; Loch Turret, near Crieff; Milngavie which is a key part of the Glasgow network; Greenside in West Dunbartonshire; Stanley near Paisley; and Carron Valley in Stirlingshire.

Incidents of vandalism to property have included: damage to trees; fires being lit and left unattended, littering, tents discarded, human waste left; and vehicles parked inconsiderately and dangerously.

Anti-social behaviour in April occurred at Backwater Reservoir near Kirriemuir, where wild campers left human waste, soiled toilet tissue, debris, food containers and a fire.

Scottish Water is urging visitors to any of our 300 reservoirs to play their part by familiarising themselves with, and following, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and:

  • Take your litter home
  • Don’t cut down or damage trees
  • Use a stove rather than lighting a fire
  • If you must light an open fire, keep it small and under control
  • Remove all traces of your visit before you leave
  • If you need to go to the toilet, do so away from water sources
Act responsibly at reservoirs. Picture: Chris Watt
Act responsibly at reservoirs. Picture: Chris Watt

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code’s key principles include – respect the interests of other people, care for the environment, and take responsibility for your own actions.

More information on it is available here: www.scottishwater.co.uk/en/help%20and%20resources/outdoor%20access%20code

Scottish Water’s call includes a reminder that visitor safety is a key factor as reservoirs are part of Scottish Water’s supply network and can present unique dangers from underwater infrastructure and cold water.

Peter Farrer, chief operating officer, Scottish Water, said: “We know that many people will want to enjoy the outdoors at some of our scenic reservoirs this summer and call on them to do so without spoiling other people’s enjoyment.

“We ask people to act responsibly and respect our reservoirs – enjoy the setting but leave no trace behind. They can do this by planning and preparing for their visit. They should consider other people and services including ensuring cars are parked safely and do not obstruct either our working vehicles or the emergency services.

“We are also urging people to stay safe. There are many hidden dangers in reservoirs which are working assets. Water temperatures can also cause shock and result in someone getting into difficulty.”

More information is available at: www.scottishwater.co.uk/takecare

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