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Free access versus conservation article

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 Tringa 11 Sep 2020

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/articles/opinions/free_access_versus_conservation_-_a_delicate_balance-12984

An interesting article. In the long term I agree education is necessary(anyone remember the Keep Britain Tidy campaigns of the late 50s and early 60s) but this is going to take a long time.

Although I find it difficult to imagine you would need to tell anyone it isn't acceptable to shit in a lay-by. 

In the short term do those of us who stop overnight in lay-bys or otherwise 'camp' by the road side, but who do not

park overnight close to houses,

block field entrances,

camp on ancient monuments,

cut branches from trees for a fire,

leave litter, and

crap wherever we like

need to give up some of our freedoms to help to solve the littering problem, which I think and as mentioned in the article is the real issue.

The part of the NW Highlands I know well is stiff with campervans/motorhomes now but the numbers would not be major problem(assuming all understood how to drive on single track roads) if litter and human waste were not left behind when they leave.

Should overnight parking in lay-bys and other pull-ins be banned, even if temporary or for specific periods? I realise it this would be controversial and really I wouldn't like to see it happen, but would it, in the short term, help with the problem even though it would be difficult to enforce.

There are a few things in the article that I don't think are helpful. The caption under the photo of overflowing bins -

"If the bins aren't emptied often enough, is it any wonder they're overflowing?"

I think that encourages some to leave rubbish by the bin.  My view is if a bin is full then you don't put your bag of waste next to it, you take it with you until you find another bin that can take the rubbish.

I thought one of the comments from a spokesperson for Highland Council was interesting -

"We want to ensure that everyone coming to the Highlands has a positive and welcoming experience."

Does that include those who abuse the outdoors too? Along with the excellent rights anyone visiting Scotland has, come the responsibilities to treat the environment and its residents with consideration and I don't see why anyone who does not accept the responsibilities should have a positive experience.

I'm also not sure about the development of Aires. While I can see their usefulness - toilet and waste disposal facilities  - they would need to be sited very carefully. If you lived at the edge of a village would you want an aire over the back wall? However, anything would help needs to be looked at, though I think some would not want to pay anything for their stay and still pull up by the roadside.

However, its a good article that helps the discussion.

Dave

In reply to Tringa:

Education is the only answer. I can't comprehend who someone in a town center would think the thing to do with the empty pop can or crisp packet is to drop it on the floor. 

Frankly it totally blows my mind that people would travel to a beautiful area to enjoy being out in nature only to leave their rubbish behind when they go. 

It will take a long time but educate the children and eventually things will get better. 

 Offwidth 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Tringa:

Why a new thread and not attached to the article?

 Tringa 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Oops, I didn't realise comments could be added to the article.

Dave


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