Three motorhomes ‘free camping’ in a little off-road space at Loch Clash.
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THOUGHTLESS tourists are blighting north west Sutherland’s stunning landscape by ‘free camping’ and failing woefully to get rid of after themselves.
According to Murdo MacPherson, secretary of Kinlochbervie Community Council, the night time in laybys there’s been a rise in the quantity of motorhome users spending, by the relative side of roads and in car parks, at beauty spots particularly.
Rubbish bins are overflowing, you can find insufficient public loos to handle demand plus some visitors are even using open spaces as a toilet.
Mr MacPherson’s concerns are shared by Kinlochbervie man Alex Munro who contacted The Northern Times this week to state hawaii of the automobile park at Oldshoremore beach was a “disgrace”.
Highland Council has been urged to boost its litter pick-up and refuse collection services in affected areas.
There are also demands the authority to reinstate No Overnight Camping signs at specific locations including Oldshoremore beach carpark and Sheigra.
The weakness of the pound has prompted a surge in ‘stay-cations’ and the amount of caravans and motorhomes on British roads is predicted to soar on the next five years.
The growing popularity of the NC500 has resulted in more folks heading north also, but it isn’t all very good news.
Mr MacPherson said: “Picnic spots and viewpoints tend to be occupied by motorhomes whose owners leave huge amounts of rubbish in the tiny bins.
“In addition they utilize the John Muir Trust carpark in the beginning of the way to Sandwood Bay and also have blocked the toilets there making use of their waste. They’re blocking driveways and usage of crofts also.
“Wild toileting inevitably follows – completely view of the general public often. The other day an Oldshoremore resident found a tourist defecating before her house and her husband had to completely clean it up.
“There’s also been a rise in litter. On the beaches, locals are clearing up the remains of campfires and barbecues, which leave scorch marks in the grass.
“Recently some individuals enjoyed a picnic at Loch Clash and threw a plastic carrier bag filled with rubbish straight into the ocean where it bobbed in the harbour until someone waded out to obtain it.”
Mr MacPherson believes that the No Overnight Parking signs, removed carrying out a legal challenge a couple of years ago, ought to be set up again.
Businessman Alex Munro is establishing a glamping facility near Oldshoremore beach carpark.
He said that around four motorhomes parked there nightly, but on some occasions have been as much as 15 there.
He claims the rubbish left within their wake is really a health hazard and says he’s got been lobbying local councillors and officials in vain for days gone by year to really have the overflowing carpark bins emptied more often than every fortnight.
He said: “It’s disgusting. Week the bins were overflowing and there is used nappies when I transpired to the automobile park last, dog poo and glass everywhere. I was so revolted it had been picked by me all up myself and put it in my own trailer for disposal.”
He is querying why No Overnight Camping signs have already been erected at Durness and Scourie however, not at Oldshoremore and Sheigra.
Regular Sutherland visitor Su Gripton, from Nottinghamshire, told the Northern Times: “You can find nappies, human excrement and bottles filled up with yellow fluid in laybys on the true solution to Scourie. We saw folk wild camping close to the graveyard in Scourie.
“I witnessed the occupants of 1 campervan throw waste water directly into Scourie Bay and saw campers from the tent urinating against community bird hide building.”
A Highland Council spokesperson said: “As a result of issues raised, our community services have added another 1100 litre refuse bin here (Oldshoremore) and changed the timings of the road cleaning operative to report any fly-tipping.
“Also, they are trying to finances for it for another vehicle ahead in and deliver a weekly service here immediately.”
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