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Rangers joined by police in checking Highland visitor hot spots as summer season hits full swing amid pleas to respect countryside and local residents

By Hector MacKenzie

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COUNCIL rangers have been joined by police in checking visitor hot spots in Ross-shire and the wider Highlands as the summer holiday period hits full swing.

Police and partners in the Lochaber, Skye and South West Ross Visitor Management Group visited locations including the very popular destinations of Glen Etive and Arisaig to provide community support and reassurance.

They have been checking local hot spots and engaging with visitors in a bid to ensure that everyone enjoys the visitor experience to the Highlands.

Visits were made to a number of busy locations where people were camping and reminders were given about respecting the local community, its countryside and environment, leaving no litter and parking vehicles considerately.

Chairman of Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee Ken Gowans said: “I’d like to thank the access rangers and Police Scotland all their hard work over the weekend as they aim to make visitors’ experiences in the Highlands pleasurable and safe. Working with partners, the council is committed to ensuring that visitors have both safe and enjoyable holidays in our beautiful region.”

Senior access ranger, Rosamonde Birch said: “The rangers in Lochaber co-ordinated patrols alongside local officers during the busy weekend with great success. The additional support from Police Scotland ensured that visitors at key sites were not only educated about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and the ‘leave no trace’ approach but had the added support of police for any antisocial behaviour to ensure everyone enjoyed their stay and acted responsibly in the outdoors.”

Inspector Isla Campbell from Fort William Police Station, said: “Officers were able to engage with visitors across Glen Etive with no criminality detected this weekend. The area continues to be busy with visitors and our partnership approach with Highland Council has been a success. We will continue to focus on peak weekends as the season goes on and have increased patrols when required.

“Our aim is to engage with visitors to minimise any disruption to the local community and environment, with guidance provided to campers and motorists across Morar, Arisaig, Mallaig, Glen Nevis, Glencoe and Glen Etive.

“Antisocial behaviour at these sites will be dealt with robustly and I would encourage anyone who has any concerns to come forward and speak to police.”

Highland Council and police ask everyone to enjoy the outdoors but to do so responsibly.

Bag up litter and take it home if bins are unavailable or full.

Do not leave bin bags at the side of full litter bins.

Don’t risk starting a wildfire – if you can’t leave no trace, then don’t have a fire.

To find out more information about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code visit www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/.

Highland Council’s website has a dedicated section on tourism www.highland.gov.uk/tourism where there are useful guides and links for visiting the Highlands, including public amenities, walks, journey planners, motorhome and campervan guidance.

Further patrols will be carried out by Lochaber, Skye and South West Ross Visitor Management Group partners during the summer season.

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