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Outdoor community asked to help tackle litter problem on Scotland's hills

By John Davidson

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Mountaineering Scotland’s Access & Conservation Officer Davie Black (centre) during a 2019 litter pick on Conic Hill, Loch Lomond.
Mountaineering Scotland’s Access & Conservation Officer Davie Black (centre) during a 2019 litter pick on Conic Hill, Loch Lomond.

Hill walkers and climbers are being asked to help keep Scotland's mountains clear of litter as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Mountaineering Scotland has belatedly launched its 2020 Tak It Hame campaign – which was originally planned for the spring.

The organisation wants to see an end to the scenes of littering and 'dirty camping' that seem to have plagued some areas of the country since the limit on travel was relaxed.

With tourism also reopening in Scotland, Tak It Hame aims to support the national anti-littering campaign ‘Scotland is stunning – let’s keep it that way’ by encouraging everyone who goes walking or climbing in Scotland’s hills to take responsibility for keeping our world-renowned mountain landscapes beautiful by taking litter home for proper disposal and recycling.

The message is simple – “If we don’t do it, who will?”

Davie Black, access and conservation officer for Mountaineering Scotland, said: “When we launched the Tak It Hame campaign alongside our conservation strategy in June 2019, we hoped that our members and clubs would get involved and that it might start to reach the wider hill-walking and mountaineering community.

"In fact, it reached much further than we ever expected, with people from all over Scotland and the UK contacting us and wanting to get involved.

“Many of Mountaineering Scotland’s affiliated clubs organised litter picks, and many individuals – both members and non-members – shared photos on social media of the litter they had removed from the hills, using the #TakItHame hashtag. It was really encouraging to see how people got behind the campaign and that’s why we are keen to get it back up and running again this year.”

Hill-goers are encouraged to take a suitable bag in their backpack each time they venture out, which they can use to take litter away for recycling or disposal.

As part of the campaign, Mountaineering Scotland is also asking people to think about how they could reduce their use of packaging for drinks, snacks and packed lunches, and find alternatives to single use plastics and food wrap.

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