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Applecross 'sad day' littering and tree damage reports as campers flock to Ross-shire beauty spots


By Hector MacKenzie

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The easing of lockdown restrictions has prompted a rapid increase in visitor numbers to communities like Applecross. While some tourist operators welcome the prospect of more business after a challenging period without income, many others have decried the amount of littering, including human waste.
The easing of lockdown restrictions has prompted a rapid increase in visitor numbers to communities like Applecross. While some tourist operators welcome the prospect of more business after a challenging period without income, many others have decried the amount of littering, including human waste.

REPORTS of littering and branches being torn off trees by an influx of campers at a Wester Ross beauty spot prompted calls to the police and a fresh appeal for respect.

The incident in the Applecross area is the latest in a series across the Highlands in recent days which have created tension in communities and prompted appeals to the public from police and politicians.

Photographs of rubbish dumped next to overflowing bins and reports of trees being damaged prompted the Applecross Inn to post on Facebook with an appeal.

The award-winning inn posted:"A very sad day indeed, I don’t have to say any more. Last night we contacted the police when it was reported they were tearing branches off the trees.

"We will continue to report anything of this nature too and will be logging all cars that camp in our beautiful bay .

"Please respect our community."

Bags of rubbish left next to overflowing bins indicate the popularity of Ross-shire beauty spots with visitors.
Bags of rubbish left next to overflowing bins indicate the popularity of Ross-shire beauty spots with visitors.

The report follows an appeal to visitors made yesterday by Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson following concerns about littering, including human waste in some areas.

She said that while a Highland welcome will be extended to visitors, there was a need for respect of local communities.

MSP Gail Ross has also raised the issue after being "inundated" with concerns raised by constituents.

The Highlands are proving a popular destination with visitors after the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The Applecross post prompted an outpouring of comments on Facebook.

Howard Skimming wrote: "Disgusting! Contributing nothing and taking everything while proper Scottish staycationers quietly respect our environment. Nobody wants a break more than I do but not at the expense of people who live there. I live in Dumfries and Galloway and it’s same here. The litter etc is horrendous, worst I’ve ever seen. Can’t you just wait for hotels and campsites to open?"

Andrea Sullivan wrote: "Absolutely disgusting and shameful. These are not campers but people who would usually go abroad but corona has put a halt to that ( for now). Hopefully they'll be back to their usual holidays next year and the damage done to the genuine campers reputations is forgotten. Pity the poor holiday resorts that usually host these people. A double-edged sword for them as I'm sure they're missing the tourist pound but not the tourist mess and arrogance."

Siobhanie Murray observed: "Owner of Applecross Inn is and has been a well-respected business owner for many years and has done countless things for the benefit of the community."

Some suggested bins needed to emptied more often while others stated that campers should still take litter home with them or dispose of it properly.

Related: Respect plea from Highland Council leader over antisocial behaviour

Forestry appeal over littering as restrictions ease

MSP warns of littering and flytipping fears as Covid restrictions eased



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