A new taskforce could be created to clamp down on “dirty camping”, after MSPs were inundated with complaints from frustrated residents.
Concerns about the impact of some wild campers on remote communities and beauty spots across Scotland have heightened in recent weeks, following the end of the coronavirus lockdown and a surge in so-called staycation holidays.
It was considered by MSPs on Holyrood’s petitions committee on Wednesday, where it was agreed the issue should be sent to their colleagues on the parliament’s rural economy committee for further investigation.
And the MSPs vowed to ask their colleagues to negotiate with the Scottish Government about the creation of a working group to find solutions to the problem.
Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance said: “I would definitely like to write to the Scottish Government to see if they will create a working group on this issue, and see if we can take that forward.”
North-east MSP Tom Mason said: “If the way to resolve this is to form some sort of committee to look at the issues then that is what we must do.”
The MSPs expressed alarm at the rise in complaints about wild camping in recent weeks.
Committee convener Johann Lamont said: “I’m sure I’m not the only person disturbed that one of the consequences of people not travelling abroad for their holidays, and travelling to other parts of Scotland, which is a wonderful thing, is that there is actually a general disregard and respect for local communities.”
Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Gail Ross said: “Since July 15, when the tourism restrictions were lifted, a lot of people have been taking advantage of what we call ‘staycations’, and holidaying in Scotland.
“Unfortunately, I have been inundated with reports of what we are now calling ‘dirty camping’ – people leaving litter, waste excrement etc in various locations.
“And this isn’t just happening in my area, I know from topical questions on August 10 that it is happening all over Scotland.”