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'Respect' plea over antisocial behaviour by visitors to Highlands amid 'massive upsurge' as coronavirus restrictions eased


By Hector MacKenzie

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Cllr Margaret Davidson has issued an appeal, acknowledging the importance of tourism to the Highlands but condemning instances of littering which have also included human waste.
Cllr Margaret Davidson has issued an appeal, acknowledging the importance of tourism to the Highlands but condemning instances of littering which have also included human waste.

VISITORS flocking to the Highlands as coronavirus restrictions are eased are being asked by a civic leader to show respect for the area after a spate of complaints about littering.

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson is putting a call out to all campers visiting the region, urging them to respect the beautiful environment they are visiting.

It follows a police plea yesterday over a spate of reports of littering and vandalism at sites across the Highlands.

"Please do not leave litter, please be considerate to local residents, please don’t light fires and please, please, do not leave human waste!" – Cllr Margaret Davidson

Cllr Davidson said: “Tourism is the backbone of our economy and we are delighted that the Highlands are Scotland’s number 1 destination with people wanting to experience our scenery, landscapes, coastline and open space following months of lockdown.

"We extend a warm Highland welcome to our visitors – as we need them as much as they need their holidays.The Scottish Government has this week on July 22 issued the latest guidance on their route map to recovery.

"As lockdown restrictions have eased, we have sadly seen a massive recent upsurge of people driving to beauty hotspots 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!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 motorhome."

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.

What's your experience of restrictions being eased? Share your thoughts by emailing newsdesk@hnmedia.co.uk

Related: 'Shameless' litter prompts public appeal

Wester Ross communities make plea over littering menace

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