This week in the Scotsman, Murdo Fraser wrote about wild camping and access to land. We occupy different ends of the political spectrum, but some issues transcend it. For while coming at it from different angles, we still agree that action needs taken.
The right to roam runs deep in the Scottish soul. People were rightly angered by being excluded from land that they saw as their birthright and progress has been made by various Holyrood administrations.
But the rush to staycations has caused real issues not just for farmers but the environment. There were always idiots and the unthinking who damaged crops and frightened animals.
This though is far worse. Wild camping’s one thing, many doing it over the years and benefitting from it. But the abuse of beauty spots and a trashing of the countryside’s quite another. It’s not as if it’s just a few cans or some litter strewn about in a few locations, bad enough as that is.
Instead its tents left after use and general mayhem from trees being cut down to scenic areas desecrated, as well as RVs turning public car parks into caravan sites. It’s just not on.
The infrastructure isn’t there for it and much can’t be recycled. Remote spots don’t have the bins and discarded tents simply fill up landfill.
The bad weather may well be a salvation for now. But the issue remains and will likely return. For sure it requires education, but it also requires enforcement.
That won’t be easy given location and other pressures, but powers are needed, and wardens required. Perhaps, a tourist tax if needs be?
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