With the summer months barely under way, irresponsible wild campers have already blighted a scenic corner of Highland Perthshire.
Issues with littering and noise from people holidaying on the shores of the region’s lochs have been raised repeatedly in recent years.
Killichonan resident Maggie Marullo noticed a group camping on the shore of Loch Rannoch on Saturday and was astounded by the “shameful” mess left in their wake.
She said: “Six grown men came down to the loch bank here in Killichonan on Saturday at 6am and proceeded to fish all day, get very drunk and scream foul language all around the neighbourhood.
“People walking their dogs were concerned at how drunk they were and the language coming out of their mouths.
“On Sunday at 8am, they proceeded to get into their vehicles, two of them being carried into a blue car because they had passed out from intoxication and they sped off.”
Maggie and her neighbour could see smoke coming from the banks of the loch after the group had left, so went to investigate.
The pair approached to see a huge bonfire left raging on the shore near grass and trees, along with around 100 beer cans and camping equipment tossed on top of the flames.
The pair extinguished the blaze using wet sand but want to see the group brought to justice.
She added: “We managed to douse the fire with wet sand after 20 minutes and did as much as we could but it was still smouldering underneath.
“Something needs to be done. It’s heartbreaking to see this. Six grown men with absolutely no respect for the land that they utilised for 24 hours, or the wildlife. I hope that justice is done because their license plates were documented.
“It happens around our loch too often, sadly. I’m not the only one who has cleaned up after many campers. We have a conservation team of volunteers and loch warden who monitors it daily.”
Highland ward councillor Mike Williamson added: “We need to do everything we can to protect the environment and its beauty. This is totally irresponsible.
“We’ve been working with the Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch riparian groups to see how we can better support the tourism industry through protecting the environment.”
A Perth and Kinross Council spokesperson said: “The council would urge all visitors to the countryside to act responsibly and not affect the environment for others. Nevertheless, the council is aware that some visitors, including wild campers, do sometimes display inappropriate behaviour.
“All visitors should be aware that they must comply with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Litter or waste found can be reported to the council.
“Waste operations staff in Highland Perthshire will continue to monitor countryside locations over the summer and take appropriate action as required.”