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Dirty camping: Join our fight to protect Scotland’s great outdoors

The mess left at Barry Mill.
The mess left at Barry Mill.

Last summer a new and unwelcome phrase became common in the countryside – ‘dirty camping’.

Those two words summed up the irresponsible, infuriating and downright disgusting habit of camping up for the night – often for a party – and leaving the place in a tip afterwards.

‘Dirty campers’ blighted beauty spots with abandoned tents, rubbish, broken glass and takeaway bottles strewn in spots previously known only for their secluded beauty.

Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel in Highland Perthshire, Balmerino in North Fife and Lunan Bay in Angus all, sadly, became associated with the practice last spring and summer.

Easter weekend this year threatened more of the same to come after a group left Barry Mill in Angus more closely resembling a skip than a national treasure.

Your views count

Nobody wants to see the same sights this year so we plan to report on the problem more deeply than ever before, collecting data on the scale of the issue and gathering evidence to push for action.

And we need your help to do it.

Tell us – through the form below – what you want done to tackle the dirty camping problem in Scotland?

Or you can email me your thoughts and photos at

We want you to share your thoughts and ideas and we’ll put them to the politicians and authorities responsible for protecting Scotland’s natural environment.

To be clear, this is not about visitors making good use of Scotland’s pioneering and celebrated land access laws to explore and enjoy our beautiful places.

It’s to protect these very rights from those who would use the actions of small and highly unrepresentative minority to reinstate restrictions and regulations few people would genuinely like to see.

So share your thoughts and feelings and help us to clean up the dirty campers once and for all.

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