An app sharing information between motorhome owners and caravanners visiting the Highlands that includes recommendations to park at cemeteries has sparked widespread outrage.
park4night’s users offer tips that fellow travellers can stay overnight at cemeteries and can use the freshwater taps at some of them to top up their supplies.
The owners of the app say the locations are set by users and appealed for information about the inappropriate locations so they could be removed.
Incensed Caithness councillor Struan Mackie described the content as ‘irresponsible and wrong’.
He said: “Having been alerted to this website by a concerned constituent, I was disgusted to learn that our cemetery car parks are being listed as suitable sites for overnight stays.
“Having visited the website and downloaded their mobile app myself, I can see that the sites listed are almost exclusively council-owned grounds from our car parks, harbour properties and cemeteries.
“It is deeply concerning that what is listed as a ‘graveyard’ near St John’s Loch on the A836, which would indicate the Corsback cemetery near Dunnet, is noted as having fresh water available via a tap just inside in the cemetery grounds and that that it is ‘ideal to restock’.
“The facilities in our cemeteries are for our burials staff and for maintaining the grounds.
“Our car parks and cemeteries are not campsites and I have asked the council to take action against the company immediately.”
Highland Council branded the app inappropriate and disrespectful, and said their legal team is looking into the matter.
A council spokeswoman said: “Our burial ground car parks across Highland are for the use of families and the bereaved to visit the plots and lairs of their passed loved ones and for visitors researching their genealogy and local history.
“The car parks are also for council staff and stonemasons who require access to maintain the grounds and memorials.
“It is entirely inappropriate and totally disrespectful to our local communities and the recently bereaved – some of whom have lost family and friends to COVID-19 – to actively promote and use burials grounds and cemetery car parks anywhere for the purpose of overnight parking, camping and motor homing.
“Tap water in our burial grounds is provided for the purposes of watering floral tributes and we would strongly advise it may not be suitable for drinking.”
Christine Tino of park4night said: “All park4night locations are set by the users.
“Please let us know which places cause problems – we will of course change or delete them immediately.
“park4night is an app for campers and vans, not for tents.
“Of course it is not OK to use water taps on cemeteries.
“Please tell me the affected places.
“I will check them out.”