With the five-mile travel guidance now lifted in Scotland, people are getting back to the hills and countryside in large numbers. At popular beauty spots, littering has again become a major issue. A number of organisations have made a joint appeal for more responsible behaviour.
"[A]s Scotland gets re-accustomed to travelling further afield for leisure pursuits, we are appealing to the public to help avoid repeats of the selfish, irresponsible behaviour that over the past few weeks has seen many sites swamped by litter – or even despoiled by human waste" said Simon Hodgson, Chief Executive of Forestry and Land Scotland (formerly Forestry Commission Scotland).
"This sort of anti-social behaviour not only creates a significant health hazard but also eats in to the limited resources that land managers have at their disposal.
"We would urge people to first of all think carefully about their travel plans, and secondly to behave like people who are proud to be able to call such a beautiful country home: don't visit sites until they are open and take your litter home."
The public are reminded that while many car parks and beauty spots are now open, toilets may still be closed and waste collection services may not yet be operational. People should take their litter home, say the organisations behind the statement, which is jointly backed by Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Water, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage and Cairngorms National Park Authority.
Mr Hodgson added;
"The sad thing is, many of the people responsible for the littering would say they were proud to live in Scotland, and yet as we have seen over the past few weeks, they treat our beautiful countryside in this contemptible manner. It's not acceptable."
Similar concerns have been highlighted in England, where the relaxation of lockdown also is also being accompanied by an upsurge in littering and anti social behaviour in the countryside.