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Scottish Government urges public to act responsibly in countryside

By Gavin Musgrove

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The Scottish Government has issued a plea ahead of the weekend for everyone to act responsibly as more people venturing out into green spaces.

Ministers are urging people to be considerate of their surroundings after a surge in problems with littering and lighting camp fires including at Loch Morlich and the surrounding Glenmore area last weekend.

Roseanna Cunningham at a Cairngorms National Park Authority conference.
Roseanna Cunningham at a Cairngorms National Park Authority conference.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “We all want to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and have a duty to protect them which is why I have been disappointed to learn of a number of incidents of littering, anti-social behaviour and damage to our natural environment since lockdown restrictions began to ease.

“Many of us are enjoying the opportunity to get outdoors after so many weeks spent close to home – and are doing so responsibly – but clearly a small minority of people are spoiling this for others, endangering themselves, nearby communities and our environment.

“Ultimately I hope that people will act responsibly, respect the communities they are travelling to, clean up after themselves and have a safe break.”

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code provides useful information on how we can all enjoy the countryside safely and responsibly - www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot

Zero Waste Scotland has also launched a new campaign – Scotland is Stunning: Let’s Keep it That Way – highlighting the country’s natural beauty and wildlife, and urging visitors not to spoil it by littering.

The Scottish Government is reminding the public that littering is a criminal offence and throwing down or dropping an item in any public open space is classed as littering.

If a person is found guilty of the offence they can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £80 or could potentially be prosecuted and risk a fine of up to £2,500.

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