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Highland Council wants Scottish Government support to tackle ‘uncontrolled camping’


By Andrew Dixon

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Highland councillors have agreed to call for help from the Scottish Government to tackle "uncontrolled camping".

Communities across the north have complained about littering and other problems which they say are the result of wild camping by visitors.

Councillors Ben Thompson, Andrew Baxter, John Finlayson and Calum Munro put forward this motion that was supported by other councillors: “Many areas of the Highlands are being adversely affected by a huge increase in uncontrolled camping. This may or may not improve with the opening of camp sites. Future demand from 'staycationers' may well outstrip any possible supply of camp site spaces.

“The public health risks from this increase in camping during a pandemic must be addressed with urgency. Steps that may be taken to reduce public health risks include increase waste collections, better traffic management, restrictions on alcohol consumption, and financial support for beach or countryside wardens, temporary toilet and hand-washing facilities.

"Highland Council commits to use its resources where practicable and affordable to support such steps and calls on the Scottish Government and its agencies to work with us.”

Councillors also approved a statement by SNP group co-leader Maxine Smith pointing out these were the actions of a minority and that community policing teams are taking these matters very seriously.

And they backed Councillor Gordon Adam's call for the council to urgently investigate how best to encourage private hosting of campervans and caravans by crofters and small-holders and publicises the results of its study widely.

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