Cairngorms National Park: Fury as fire service called after campers trash Highland beauty spot

Campers trashed a lochside beauty spot leaving a burning bonfire, abandoned camping equipment and human waste - despite freezing weather.

Despite freezing temperatures at the weekend, anti-social campers flocked to Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park.

Defiant visitors believed to be from Glasgow which is subject to a travel ban due to being in Tier 4 of the Scottish Government's coronavirus restrictions, caused havoc.

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The abandoned campsite at Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park, Scottish Highlands.

Shocked locals discovered the area trashed, with inflatable mattresses floating in the loch, abandoned beer cans, and camping equipment including tents, tarpaulin, camping chairs and clothes.

Trees were also cut down, and fire crews were called to extinguish a bonfire on Sunday morning, just after 9.30am.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a neighbour said: "Over the summer there were a few fires and pieces of rubbish and camping equipment, but this is the worst we've encountered.

"Although it's the winter it could've caught fire to the trees.

The abandoned campsite at Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park, Scottish Highlands.

"It's disgraceful - they're in a beauty spot.

"I don't think they even treat their own house like that.

"I don't understand how they couldn't have taken it away with them.

"It's wrong on so many levels.

The abandoned campsite at Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park, Scottish Highlands.

"They just treat it like a party place.

"They could've come from anywhere.

"I heard they came up from Glasgow."

A spokesman for Scottish Fire and Rescue confirmed one engine was sent to the site from Kingussie and knapsack extinguishers were used to put out the bonfire.

The abandoned campsite at Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park, Scottish Highlands.

Pete Crane, the Cairngorms National Park Authority's head of visitor services said: "The CNPA and partners have been working hard throughout this year to help manage visitor impacts on the National Park.

"The vast majority of visitors behave well but the sort of behaviour seen at the weekend at Loch Morlich is unacceptable.

"The current ranger services across the National Park do a great job but as this year has shown, a dedicated team of National Park Authority rangers, operating in conjunction with the existing partner services, is of great benefit.

"We hope to build on the work done this year and tackle a range of issues through infrastructure delivery, ranger service investment and traffic management but there is also a need for visitors to take personal responsibility and look after this place we all love."

Reporting by SWNS

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