Staff at a north cafe are rolling up their sleeves to tackle pollution in the area amid calls for improved infrastructure in rural communities.
The Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum is launching a litter picking campaign to help preserve the natural beauty of tourist spots in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
A group of 20 volunteers will venture out once a month, from now until October, to gather litter at various local beauty spots
The scheme is being run in conjunction with the Keep Scotland Beautiful Campaign which will run from May 28 until June 20.
It comes as cafe co-owner Sarah Heward called for improved infrastructure in rural areas to help stem the growing crisis.
Duty of care to tackle Highland wide problem
The proud businesswoman said: “We all have a duty of care to our environment.”
“We absolutely love tourists visiting our cafe and the local areas, it’s our bread and butter and supports so many other rural businesses too. However, the areas are being degraded by litter and there are social issues that need to be addressed.
“The root of the problem is that we do not have strong infrastructure in rural Scotland. It’s not just Tyndrum that is suffering; there are similar issues in so many places from the Cairngorms to Skye.
“The Tyndrum infrastructure group will continue to make progress because this simply cannot go unnoticed any longer. As a family business, we work extremely hard to recycle our waste, ensure our customers are provided with plenty bins and that are packaging is biodegradable, but we’ve seen a huge raise in litter scattered all over Tyndrum.
Rubbish destroying the areas natural beauty
Cafe manager Colin McGeoch spearheaded the project after witnessing the effects increased littering was having on local beauty spots.
He said: “It’s been gutting to see my local area being treated like this every day on my way to work.
“We are proud to welcome visitors from all over the world to the Real Food Cafe. They come to this area because of its natural beauty but the volume of rubbish is increasingly destroying our natural environment.
“Community is at the heart of everything we do in the cafe, so we’ve decided to take the matter into our own hands. We decided to launch it to coincide with the Keep Scotland Beautiful campaign because this organisation is trying hard to tackle climate change and reducing litter and waste.
How you can get involved
The first litter pick will commence on May 30 from 10.15am until 1pm, and take place on the last Sunday of each month until October.
A total of 20 spaces are available to pre-book for each monthly event and remains opens to anyone, from café staff and locals, to visitors, families and senior citizens.
All equipment will be provided by the cafe, including high vis jackets, litter pickers and bags followed by a reward of free tea, coffee and biscuits plus servings of the cafe’s award-winning fish and chips.
Mr McGeoch added: “I am really looking forward to making this happen; we have had an amazing response from the community so far and I’m sure we’ll get visitors from further afield who are keen to play their part too.”
E-mail email@example.com to sign up.