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Highland Council throws support behind new anti-litter campaign from Keep Scotland Beautiful and urges visitors and locals in Ross-shire to respect the landscape

By Philip Murray

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The shore of Upper Loch Torridon at Torridon in Wester Ross. Picture: Philip Murray.
The shore of Upper Loch Torridon at Torridon in Wester Ross. Picture: Philip Murray.

RECKLESS beach-goers in Ross-shire and the wider Highlands are being urged to clean up their act and ensure the coast and sands are as clean as they found them.

Highland Council has thrown its support behind Keep Scotland Beautiful's new anti-littering campaign – My Beach Your Beach.

This is encouraging people to adopt better habits at the beach this summer and help protect the sand and sea.

And a senior councillor hopes the awareness drive will help slash the number of people still treating the countryside as their a waste bin.

“The Highland region is proudly home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches," said Ken Gowans, the chairman of the council’s economy and infrastructure committee. "Most folk don’t hesitate to take some basic steps and play their part in keeping the Highland beaches, sea life and wildlife protected, but sadly, there are people who still act irresponsibly.

THe beach at Balnakeil Bay near Durness. Picture: Philip Murray.
THe beach at Balnakeil Bay near Durness. Picture: Philip Murray.

"I welcome the #MyBeachyourBeach initiative to help educate and encourage everyone to practice good habits every time they visit any of our beautiful unspoilt beaches.

"The natural beauty of the Highlands is world renowned so let’s make sure visitors and locals alike can enjoy the best possible experience.”

Read: Ullapool eco-warrior teenager inspired to fight 'plastic tide' at Highland beach

There are key things that campaigners have called on everyone to do to ensure that beaches and bathing waters are clean for all to enjoy:

  • Dog poo: bag it and bin it and if the litter bin is full, then take it away with you.
  • Bin your litter: or take it away with you – there is never an excuse for leaving litter for others to clean up.
  • Don't feed the seagulls: leave them be. Attracting seagulls to popular beaches by feeding them can result in them disrupting bins, ingesting litter and generally becoming a nuisance for beach goers, as well as harming the seagulls themselves.
  • Never pour fats, oils or greases down the drain. Only flush the 3Ps: pee, poo and paper down the drain.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code also provides some additional recommendations to ensure that beaches remain protected. To find out more information about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code click here (external link).

The beach at Nairn. Picture: Philip Murray.
The beach at Nairn. Picture: Philip Murray.

In support of the campaign, Highland Council’s social media platforms will be highlighting the #MyBeachyourBeach initiative throughout the summer.

The council’s website has a dedicated section on tourism, where there are useful guides and links for visiting the Highlands, including public amenities, walks, journey planners, motorhome and campervan guidance.

"The council wishes you a happy and safe visit to the Highlands this summer," said a council spokesman. "Let’s play out part to ensure our beaches remain a beautiful place for all to enjoy for generations to come!"

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