LITTER louts have been fouling some of the Strath’s best-loved beauty spots.
The recent mini heatwave brought out picnickers and campers but in a few shocking instances they have failed to tidy up behind them. The worst was near Comrie’s popular circular path route.
Resident Ruth Graham was horrified to see the extent of the “disgusting mess” left by some overnight campers while out walking her dog. The debris included a discarded tent, sleeping bag, food, clothing, cans, broken bottles and condoms. The articles were strewn about over a wide area.
Ruth said: “I’m absolutely for everyone enjoying our beautiful countryside but for goodness sake respect it for others too and dispose of your litter appropriately. Who do these people think is going to come and tidy up their mess? ”
Word soon spread about the abhorrence and within hours public-spirited community councillor Judith MacDowall was on site tidying up.
She told the Herald: “There was stuff scattered over a wide radius as though folk had been sitting at the camp fire and just thrown stuff over their shoulders. There were burnt cans in the fire and broken bottles as well. I had to rake through the ashes to try and ensure that there were no slivers of glass left which might cut a dog’s paws.”
Judy also found shoes and broken bottles in a nearby field which had sheep in it. It took her nearly two hours to clear the debris. Her main concern was the amount of broken glass left. She added: “A lot of people walk their dogs here and there is livestock around. People need to be more careful about tidying up after themselves. If they bring stuff with them they should take it back with them as well.”
Comrie Community Councillor Gill Brock was appalled by the extent of the mess. She said: “The culprits were obviously old enough to camp so they are old enough to know that they should clear up after themselves. It’s disgraceful that someone else has had to clean up after them.
“Comrie takes such a pride in everything it does so what will visitors spotting that mess think. It is terrible that a group of what were presumably youths could spoil our reputation overnight.
“This was a big talking point in the village as people couldn’t believe the disrespect and disregard that was shown to the area.”
Others are concerned about the implications of the thoughtless behaviour. One resident told the Herald: “No wonder landowners want to lock gates so that cars can’t get up the glens if they are faced with having to clear up the mess day trippers leave behind every time there is a spell of good weather”.
Tayside Police are currently investigating the incident. PC Buchan from Crieff Police Station told the Herald: “There is the potential to be charged with the offence of littering for something like this. We appreciate with the better weather that people want to camp but we would ask them to take home anything they bring with them and respect the natural environment.”