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Council reminds holidaymakers to plan ahead when traveling to the Highlands

By Niall Harkiss

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Highland Council are advising holidaymakers to plan ahead and book accommodation, day trips, excursions and restaurants in advance, particularly during the school holidays as demand is high.

The message comes after a challenging two years for local businesses and the tourism industry across the culturally rich Highlands, as the authority looks forward to visitors returning to embrace the area whilst contributing to its economic recovery.

Highland Council are advising holidaymakers to plan ahead
Highland Council are advising holidaymakers to plan ahead

Outdoor access manager, Philip Waite said: “The Highland landscape is spectacular at this time of year, with many opportunities to observe our fantastic wildlife. We ask everyone to enjoy the outdoors but to do so responsibly and play their part in keeping the Highlands protected.

"Bag up litter and take it home if bins are unavailable or full. Do not leave bin bags at the side of full litter bins - there’s no litter fairy that magically scoops up roadside litter but there are birds and animals that can shred the bags creating a mess, not only is this unsightly and impacts communities and visitor’s enjoyment it is also a serious threat to wildlife and the environment.

“People should also consider the damage and destruction even a small open fire or barbeque may have on the environment or people around them. Burnt grass or peat can take years to restore as could trees cut for fuel.

"Dry whin bushes can quickly catch alight from a stray spark and peaty ground can catch light under the fire. Hot embers or discarded barbeques are a danger to others if left behind and a real risk of starting a wildfire – if you can’t leave no trace, then don’t have a fire!”.

The team of Seasonal Access Rangers are actively out and about engaging with visitors and communities over the summer months, and they will be more than happy to assist with any questions you may have about the area and the suitability to camp or where to park.

People are asked to remain realistic in their expectations and to remember that the Rangers are not an emergency service and are there to engage, educate and carry out remedial works.

The Rangers can be contacted by email at accessrangers@highland.gov.uk or by phoning the Senior Rangers on 07881 298503 for the South (Skye, Lochaber and south-west Ross) and 07909 051223 for the north (all other areas).

To find out more information about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code click here.

The Highland Council’s website has a dedicated section on tourism, where there are useful guides and links for visiting the Highlands, including public amenities, walks, journey planners, motorhome and campervan guidance.

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