Residents of a Fife village made famous by Outlander say they are overwhelmed by the number of visitors descending on their home.
Filming for the seventh series of the hit TV show is currently under way in Culross but residents say the coastal village cannot cope with the film crews, on top of fans visiting to see the backdrop of the historical drama.
Thousands of people visit the village every year and the community council says the tourism spike from Outlander has been a mixed blessing as, although the village has benefitted, the fragile infrastructure cannot cope with such an influx of people.
A spokesperson for Culross Community Council said: “We receive a small donation for the disruption and inconvenience.
“The National Trust for Scotland receives income to support the preservation of the traditional and historic buildings and the many visitors to the village frequent the various cafes, village inn and Sunday market.
“However as a small community with a population of around 450, we have become overwhelmed with the huge numbers of visitors.”
They added: “The impact on the village is beginning to take its toll.
“The streets are overflowing with cars, mini buses and coaches leading to congestion and damage to the historic infrastructure and built heritage.
“We have made requests to the various authorities involved in agreeing film locations for the opportunity to meet in the near future to discuss the management of filming.
“It would make a significant difference if we were consulted at an early planning stage and we would then be able to advise on minimising disruption to residents and essential services.”
Meetings ahead of Outlander filming in Culross
The number of people visiting Culross Palace, a prominent Outlander filming spot, has increased 136% since the first season aired, according to research by the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism.
At its peak in 2019, over 25,000 people visited the palace.
The National Trust for Scotland says meetings with the community council are organised regularly.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “We do our best to manage all filming projects at National Trust of Scotland properties as sensitively as possible, in terms of both the conservation needs of the location and being mindful of the communities where they are based.
“We meet and communicate regularly with Culross Community Council, including to discuss issues around filming, and will continue to pay attention to the community’s views and experiences on this.”
Fife Council also pointed out that there are a number of options for the community council to seek assistance.
Alastair Mutch, the council’s community manager for South West Fife and villages, said: “There is no doubt that filming Outlander in Culross has resulted in more visitors to the village and I know the community council is concerned about the impact this can have.
“Support is available through various organisations to help areas where tourism is having an impact and we will work with colleagues and partners to help address the concerns raised.”
Coping with the ‘Outlander Effect’
VisitScotland says in all their marketing campaigns they encourage tourists to be sensitive to the areas they visit and the people living in them.
Outlander producer Left Bank Pictures was approached for comment.