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Lochbroom Community Council dig deep to tackle outdoor toileting and dirty camping


By Alasdair Fraser

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Looking south-east along Little Loch Broom.
Looking south-east along Little Loch Broom.

Trowels are to be placed in lay-bys on roads passing through a Wester Ross community blighted by dirty camping and outdoor toileting.

The move by Lochbroom Community Council comes amid local disgust and anger at how some tourists among a huge influx to the Highlands have been behaving since lockdown was eased.

The local organisation serving a wide area around Ullapool and Dundonnell plans to leave the mini-spades in 90 lay-bys while also installing signs directing visitors to the nearest public toilets.

Chairman Topher Dawson said the plastic garden trowels the council had ordered would offer an emergency last resort, enabling those in desperate need to dig a hole and bury their waste.

Mr Dawson stressed that many “welcome visitors” to the area came north without realising public facilities were few and far between.

Littering, fly-tipping and human waste left by dirty campers and users of the famous NC500 coastal route has become an increasing problem this year.

The Highlands has become one of the most popular alternative destinations for visitors and those on ‘staycations’ currently reluctant or unable to take their usual foreign holidays.

Mr Dawson said: “A lot of people don’t realise facilities can be thin on the ground in this part of the world.

“We felt a temporary urgent solution was needed, although we hope people will first consider finding a public toilet if one is within reach.

The NC500 generated almost £23 million last year
The NC500 generated almost £23 million last year

“We have about 100 lay-bys in our area but 90 trowels were all that were available to buy.”

Sign in lay-bys directing travellers to public toilets will also contain advice from Mountaineering Scotland on how to camp cleanly and considerately while showing local residents due respect.

Lochbroom Community Council hopes more public toilets will be available next year.

Trowels and signs could start appearing in lay-bys from as early as this weekend.



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