A series of graphic images of serious damage caused around Scotland’s natural beauty spots have been released as part of a new campaign.
The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is urging visitors to “love this place, leave no trace” as it seeks to encourage them and campers to minimise their impact on these places.
Staff have reported a rise in anti-social behaviour which it says is endangering the environment, harming local communities and having a “devastating” effect on long-term conservation projects.
One of the areas seriously affected over the past year has been Glencoe National Nature Reserve and Glenfinnan Monument in the Highlands.
Emily Bryce, operations manager, said: “While the vast majority of visitors here in Glencoe and Glen Etive respect the landscape, unfortunately our ranger team spend a considerable proportion of their time dealing with those who don’t.
“Clearing up litter and human waste; repairing damage to paths, verges and fences; addressing the impact of deer entering new woodland enclosures due to gates being left open; and discouraging inconsiderate parking when car parks are at capacity – these activities are all essential, but they also take our valuable time away from ongoing nature conservation projects and wildlife monitoring.
“Chatting with outdoor enthusiasts and championing responsible countryside access has always been a rewarding element of a ranger’s role, and we find it makes a real difference when it comes to reducing anti-social behaviour at busy countryside places.
“Our team have been out and about more than ever recently – on a busy Saturday walkabout we might engage with over 400 walkers and wild campers.
“We’ve been working in partnership with our local community, neighbouring landowners and authorities to clearly signpost local facilities and develop long-term plans to sustainably accommodate visitors to the glens, with sensitively designed infrastructure improvements.
“We need your help to continue with this work and empower people with the motivation and skills to ‘leave no trace’.”