Vandals removed safety rails from a fence on a steep path – to use them on a campfire.
The National Trust for Scotland has condemned the culprits, who struck in the woodlands of An Torr which leads to Signal Rock, reputedly a gathering place for the MacDonalds of Glencoe.
Several metres of fence was removed beside a drop of around 20ft near a bridge over the River Coe. Volunteers also found a pop-up tent and litter at the site despite the nearby car park being closed during lockdown restrictions.
In a post online, the charity said: “While the vast majority of visitors to NTS Glencoe National Nature Reserve cherish this incredible place as much as we do, dealing with the impact of thoughtless, ‘dirty’ campers is a habitual and unwanted part of our ranger team’s role.”
It said while staff are furloughed to reduce costs, incidents of litter picking and damage patrols across the 14,000 acre estate and 37 miles of footpaths in its care is “even less welcome than usual”.
Emily Bryce, NTS operations manager for Glencoe and Glenfinnan, said last night: “It’s a popular area for wild campers, but genuine wild campers take away their litter and leave no trace. This is more what we call dirty camping.
“The fence is on a narrow stretch of path and placed there for safety purposes. Ultimately it’s vandalism and damaging property. But it seems quite obvious that this fence has a purpose, so to not consider the impact removing it might have is a little bit bizarre and disappointing.”