MSP warns on fly-tipping and litter blight as Covid-19 lockdown is eased
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A HIGHLAND MSP is voicing concern over the potential risk of an increase in fly tipping and littering at beauty spots and other locations as lockdown measures are eased.
Scottish Labour member David Stewart is keen to hammer home the message that moves to ease restrictions should not be taken as a licence for those and other forms of anti-social behaviour.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce a further relaxation of lockdown measures tomorrow (Thursday) as the Scottish Government moves towards phase two in its road map.
Mr Stewart noted there had been a spike in rubbish dumping after the first changes to Scotland’s lockdown restrictions were implemented, taking the country into phase one last month.
A spike in the anti-social practise at many locations, including the Clootie Well on the Black Isle and at Dores Beach beside Loch Ness prompted Mr Stewart to contact Police Scotland and Highland Council after local residents raised concerns.
In the next few days, the National Farmers Union (Scotland) and other organisations will launch a new range of colourful posters to help inform the public on enjoying the outdoors responsibly.
Mr Stewart said: “The vast majority of the public across the Highlands and Islands have of course behaved well and have followed the guidelines to the letter.
“But as we saw when restrictions were lifted in phase one, a small minority acted totally irresponsibly leaving litter and waste at many beauty spots.
“As we move towards phase two and the further lifting of restrictions, it is vital that people do not see the easing of lockdown restrictions as a licence to litter.
“Communities across the region have been blighted by the irresponsible actions of others over recent weeks through fly tipping, vandalism, groups holding picnics and parties, often with dangerous barbeques and failing to take litter home with them.
“I hope that people will listen to and follow the new guidelines carefully and enjoy the outdoors responsibly within the rules and with respect to the countryside and the environment.”