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Tourists caught emptying motor home toilets into Loch Rannoch

Loch Rannoch.
Loch Rannoch.

An influx of wild campers and motor homes in Highland Perthshire has sparked calls for beauty spots to be protected.

Residents and conservationists have hit out at irresponsible campers for dumping rubbish and human waste, as well as tree cutting and anti-social behaviour.

Campaigners, including the Loch Rannoch Conservation Association, said national agencies such as Sepa and Forestry and Land Scotland need to be more involved in protecting the area.

It comes after a conservation officer caught people emptying motor home toilets into Loch Rannoch, a water source for nearby homes.

Problems have also been reported at Loch Tummel and Loch Tay, with abandoned campsites, fires and rubbish blighting the shores.

Under Scottish access laws, wild camping is legal in most open places.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code asks campers to avoid enclosed fields, buildings and roads, as well as taking care not to disturb deer stalking or grouse shooting.

“Leave no trace” is a key part of the code, including taking away all litter, not causing pollution and removing marks left by a tent or fire.

Calls have been made to introduce by-laws or permits in Perthshire to tackle irresponsible camping.

By-laws were introduced to protect Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in 2017. In certain areas of the park, camping is only permitted within campsites or with a permit.

But one Aberfeldy resident said earlier this year that restrictions at Loch Lomond had forced campers to venture north, making Loch Tummel a no-go area for families.

During the summer he complained of seeing at least four abandoned campsites and rubbish strewn across the south shore of the loch.

“It’s an ongoing problem and it’s getting worse and worse,” he said at the time.

“Loch Tummel has been popular with campers for decades, but since they brought in the bylaws at Loch Lomond all the people that used to destroy that place have moved north.

“This is now becoming a problem for Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch. You can’t take a child there because it has become so disgusting with rubbish.

“Tourists must drive along this part of the country and think ‘what a mess’.

“Why would they want to come back?

“It’s going to put tourists off because it’s beginning to look like one big rubbish dump.”

Perth and Kinross Council asks for details and the location of rubbish left on local authority land to be reported on the council website.

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