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NC500 toilet caper slammed as film footage sparks outrage across the Highlands


By Caroline McMorran

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A video posted online showing a man emptying what appears to be the contents of a chemical toilet cassette onto a north coast lay-by has sparked outrage.

The footage, posted on YouTube, was taken near Bettyhill during a road trip in a motorhome around the North Coast 500 by four young men from online film group TPD TV.

The contents of the chemical toilet cassette are poured out along the verge.

This still taken from the video shows one of the motorhome occupants upending the chemical toilet cassette.
This still taken from the video shows one of the motorhome occupants upending the chemical toilet cassette.

The man involved is heard saying “All the NC500 is full of s*** just like this” as he pours the content of a chemical toilet cassette onto the ground.

His friends laugh and joke around as he tries to splash them with the waste.

The behaviour of the men, who are thought to be in their twenties, has been condemned by community leaders and local residents who have labelled the clip “absolutely shocking and a disgrace”.

However TPD TV has retaliated that the clip was "taken out of context".

Emptying waste water straight onto the ground has emerged as a major concern this summer with an influx of motorhome users and wild campers throughout the far north.

Complaints have been made to Police Scotland and Highland Council’s environmental health department and it is understood an enquiry is under way.

The contents of the chemical toilet cassette are poured out along the verge.
The contents of the chemical toilet cassette are poured out along the verge.

Far north residents are now calling for the men to make amends by contributing to a local fundraiser.

TPD TV film their experiences on road trips and festivals.

The 60-minute video has now been taken down but was shared widely amongst internet users and clips remain. At one point in the video one of the men says: “We are in the f***** middle of nowhere. No food, no shops and no coffee.”

Kinlochbervie resident Margaret Meek runs Facebook page NC500 The Land Weeps, which documents antisocial behaviour by visitors.

She said: “The video is full of laddish behaviour such as not wearing seatbelts and drinking and climbing into the car through the windows.

A close-up taken from the video of the man holding the cassette.
A close-up taken from the video of the man holding the cassette.

“The majority of people don’t want to see the Highlands as some sort of playground where people can do whatever they want. The whole magic and beauty of the Highlands gets reduced. No one wants to see this.”

The video was shared onto popular Facebook group Caithness Crack where it garnered many negative comments and angry emojis.

One Wick woman wrote: "I caught a campervan emptying his container in the lay-by opposite us, I shouted at him, by the time I got my camera out he threw the container in the van and sped off so I never got his numberplate."

Another said "they should be made an example of and put on the news for all to see".

The group of four lads have since apologised.
The group of four lads have since apologised.

Durness based Cllr Hugh Morrison, who represents the north, west and central Sutherland ward, said that there were facilities along NC500 to dispose of waste properly and there was no excuse for the men’s behaviour.

“Obviously they are Jack the Lads and wanted to be daft and immature,” he said. “The powers-that-be know who they are through the registration number of their motorhome.”

Joanne Mackenzie, who runs the Store Cafe at Bettyhill said: “If these guys want to give something back to our little community of Bettyhill, other than their bodily goods, our school and nursery fundraiser would be an amazing way to start.”

A Highland Council spokesman said: “We have been made aware of this care and are working with police.

He said: “This is irresponsible and disgusting behaviour which certainly doesn’t reflect the behaviour of the thousands of visitors we have each year on the route.

“In these cases, officers from the council will work with Police Scotland and SEPA to take appropriate enforcement action.

“This may include using fixed penalty notice powers under fly-tipping legislation which can result in a £200 FPN being issued to offenders."

TPD TV later released a tweet, stating: “We’ve become aware of a video taken out of context from our channel. Whilst we understand the concerns, please bear in mind that we are an entertainment channel. Not everything is real. We hope our dedicated viewers continue to enjoy our content."



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