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Highland Council leader calls on campers to be considerate

By David G Scott

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THE leader of Highland Council has issued a call to all campers heading to the Highlands urging them to respect the environment they are visiting.

Councillor Margaret Davidson was speaking after the arrival of large numbers of tourists in the region had prompted a mixed reaction, with Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Gail Ross warning of a growing sense of frustration over the behaviour of some visitors.

Councillor Davidson said: “Tourism is the backbone of our economy and we are delighted that the Highlands are Scotland’s number one destination with people wanting to experience our scenery, landscapes, coastline and open spaces following months of lockdown. We extend a warm Highland welcome to our visitors – as we need them as much as they need their holidays.

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson.
Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson.

“The Scottish Government has this week [July 22] issued the latest guidance on the route map to recovery.

"As lockdown restrictions have eased, we have sadly seen a massive recent upsurge of people driving to beauty spots in our region and camping overnight in car parks, lay-bys, on beaches and on public and private land and leaving litter and human waste regardless with cars blocking rural roads.

“We are issuing this plea to our visitors. Welcome to Highland – it is like nowhere else on earth. But please do not leave litter, please be considerate to local residents, please don’t light fires, and please, please, do not leave human waste.

Wild campers at Duncansby Head. Picture: Becky Wymer
Wild campers at Duncansby Head. Picture: Becky Wymer

"We really want you to enjoy your time here and wish to welcome you back again. Help us keep the Highlands clean and safe.

“Highland Council is working with police, local community councils and partners to try to address these issues but we urge visitors to book ahead and do not travel if you do not have appropriate accommodation planned for camping, whether it is by tent or by motor home."

Government advice is to book in advance, and to plan out your trip well ahead of time, particularly if visiting multiple locations, and to follow the guidance set out in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

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