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Renewed efforts to tackle irresponsible tourism in Perthshire

perthshire tourism
A clean-up operation after a dirty camping incident near Pitlochry in April 2021.

Renewed efforts to tackle irresponsible visitors in Perthshire are being made to crack down on dirty camping.

People who want to protect beauty spots across Perth and Kinross are being asked to come forward.

Perth and Kinross Council is recruiting a team of visitor rangers to promote responsible tourism this summer.

It comes after an influx of visitors during the last two summers, particularly in Highland Perthshire.

So -called “dirty campers” littered, chopped down trees, left human faeces and caused regular disturbances.

In one case, a dog was poisoned at Loch Rannoch after eating drugs left behind by campers.

Burned camping gear and empty bottles

Several incidents incidents centres around Loch Tummel, near Pitlochry.

In October 2020 bags of white powder and more than 100 beer bottles were found alongside chopped down trees, tents, a gazebo, camping chairs and sleeping bags.

Last April camping gear was found burned or dumped and the nearby beach covered in broken glass. Empty bottles and a fire pit were also discovered.

One of the many abandoned campsites at Loch Tummel

Other items discovered include cans of laughing gas, other drug paraphernalia and human waste.

“Dirty campers” and wildlife rescuers were also criticised after a baby heron was found covered in chip fat and had to be put down.

In response, the council hired seven new seasonal countryside rangers last year.

Last year’s team of visitor rangers with Councillor Angus Forbes and Perth and Kinross Council leader Councillor Murray Lyle.

On their busiest day, they gave advice at about 350 camp pitches across Perth and Kinross, helped reduce anti-social behaviour and allow as many people as possible to enjoy Perth’s beauty spots.

Now it is hoped the success will continue this year.

‘Selfish minority’

Angus Forbes, Perth and Kinross Council’s environment and infrastructure convenor, said: “We have invested £240,000 to support responsible tourism and recruit visitor rangers and the response last summer was overwhelmingly positive from visitors to Perth and Kinross and from those who live here.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy our beautiful countryside without it being spoiled by the behaviour of a selfish minority.

“Visitor rangers played a huge role in reducing that last year and I am sure they will be equally successful in 2022.”

Anyone interested in becoming a visitor ranger is asked to apply online before February 2.

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