Take your rubbish home plea

Trashed forest

Environmental groups have called for Scots to act responsibly if they plan on visiting rural beauty spots 

8th July 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scottish environmental groups have joined together to call for no waste to be left at the country’s beauty spots.

With travel restrictions for recreation in Scotland now eased, many areas in Scotland are now expecting higher visitor numbers.

However campaigners have called for people to ensure they take their rubbish home with them if they plan on visiting rural Scotland.

Forestry and Land Scotland has been joined by land managers, environmental experts and campaigners in calling on the Scottish public to help prevent a repeat of recent shameful scenes of littering at beauty spots.

FLS has called for more responsible behaviour – and for members of the public to remember that while many car parks and beauty spots are now open, waste collection services may not yet be operational.

The group’s plea is backed by Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Water, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage and Cairngorms National Park Authority.

It is hoped that this early appeal will encourage people to think carefully about when and where they want to travel to and that they will be considerate of local communities, other visitors and land management staff and take their litter home.

Simon Hodgson, Forestry and Land Scotland chief executive, said: “Although the travel limit has now been lifted, we are still in the process of getting staff back to work with new, safe-working practices that comply with the Scottish Government guidance. Many of our contractors are in the same boat so waste collection services might not yet be operational.

“And while many FLS car parks are now open, the toilets at some of our sites are not.

“So as Scotland gets re-accustomed to travelling further afield for leisure pursuits, we are appealing to the public to help avoid repeats of the selfish, irresponsible behaviour that over the past few weeks has seen many sites swamped by litter – or even despoiled by human waste.

“This sort of anti-social behaviour not only creates a significant health hazard but also eats in to the limited resources that land managers have at their disposal.

“We would urge people to first of all think carefully about their travel plans, and secondly to behave like people who are proud to be able to call such a beautiful country home: don’t visit sites until they are open and take your litter home.”

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “With limited access available to activities and facilities, our areas of beauty are more important than ever before for people to enjoy some exercise and fresh air. We are fortunate to live in such a wonderful country and ask people not to spoil the enjoyment of everyone else. People who litter are committing a criminal offence, are often risking our safety and polluting our environment. There are no excuses, if you take it out with you, bin it or take it home when you are done.”

Francesca Osowska, of Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “We are truly blessed in Scotland with our stunning national parks, nature reserves and trails and it’s up to everyone to help keep them that way, so we urge everyone to take all of their rubbish away with them and to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Even a small piece of litter dropped can have devastating consequences for our wildlife on land, in the air and in our seas. So please take it home and as well as keeping Scotland beautiful, you could also could be saving a life.”