Bosses at Cairngorms National Park have spoken out against abuse targeting key workers and others staying in holiday accommodation during the coronavirus lockdown.
In a joint statement, the chief executives said some people staying in the park are essential workers – including NHS staff – or those who would otherwise be homeless.
The majority of holiday accommodation throughout the park is now closed due to measures imposed to tackle the spread of Covid-19.
Grant Moir and Mark Tate said in the statement: “A face we do not recognise is not necessarily a stranger, and our plea is to not publicly criticise and jump to any judgment.
“The very strong chance is that there is a perfectly valid reason for the person to be in our community and we should offer our normal welcome, hospitality and support.
“Some properties still have ‘guests’. These guests are either working in our essential services – driving lorries, working in the NHS etc – or they would otherwise be homeless, including some of our highly-valued workers from other countries who are currently unemployed or furloughed and have nowhere else to go.”
They said if anyone has concerns that people are “flouting the rules”, they can be dealt with discreetly by phoning police on 101.
They added the park is working on a plan for recovery and how to reopen and welcome visitors when lockdown rules are eased.
It is Britain’s largest national park and includes parts of the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Angus.
Support The Courier today.
The Courier is committed to delivering quality content to our communities and right now that’s more important than ever — which is why our key content is free. However, you can support us and access premium content by subscribing to The Courier from just £5.99 a month. Because Local Matters.Subscribe