The Scottish Government should learn lessons from France in its efforts to tackle so-called dirty campers, it is claimed.
Green MSP Mark Ruskell, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, has voiced his concerns in managing campervans and motorhomes following reports of inconsiderate campers across Highland Perthshire.
In the French Alps, there exist limited restrictions on where caravans can park, with most car parks allowing vans to park overnight.
The MSP urged Rural Affairs Minister, Mairi Gougeon to consider adopting a similar approach in Scotland.
He said: “It’s clear that solutions need to be found to ensure that our beautiful countryside remains accessible to visitors, without causing harm to local communities.
“We can start by making use of acres of car parking space which sit empty at night when they could be used by campervans.”
He said: “The French Alps provide a good example of a destination popular with campervans, but where a different approach has proven successful.
“Vans can stay in car parks, which would otherwise be empty, and waste can be easily and cheaply serviced throughout the region ensuring camping stays clean.
“There are lessons we can learn here and solutions that can be quickly implemented ahead of the peak tourism season next year.”
The Scottish Government has since said talks will be held to support a coordinated nationwide approach to the issue.
A spokesperson said: “We are aware of a significant number of visitors travelling to rural areas, where a small minority cause damage to our natural environment by leaving litter or behaving antisocially, particularly since lockdown restrictions began to ease.
“We are clear that this behaviour is completely unacceptable, and disrespectful to local communities.”
Meanwhile, Forestry and Land Scotland has run a trial of overnight stays for campervans which is set to conclude later this year.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Since July we have been running a trial at a selected number of car parks where overnight stays for self-contained camper van and motorhomes are being permitted.
“Once the trial is completed later this year, we will take stock of the benefits and implications and assess our way forward for 2021.”