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A ‘despicable’ mess left at Loch Creran has led to demands for visitors to take home their rubbish from local beautyspots.
Members of the public have expressed their contempt on social media after a string of horrors was left in a lay-by on the A828 at Loch Creran.
Amid the disposable BBQs, half-consumed food, crisp packets, chocolate bar litter and even clothing, was a ‘huge pile’ of human waste, said shocked loch swimmers Andrew Holder and Maggie Brotherston.
They also found discarded kitchen roll used as toilet paper and an abandoned sanitary product in the seaweed – capturing the mess in photos.
Loch Creran is a specially-protected marine area famed for its ‘exceptional’ habitats for Norway lobsters, starfish and crabs, among many other creatures.
Maggie said it was not the first site they had had to clean around the loch but was ‘certainly the worst’.
She branded the mess left behind as nothing more than a ‘despicable act of selfishness’.
‘I feel so sorry that these people just do not get it,’ she said. ‘I feel so sorry for our wildlife and their dwindling habitats. There seems to be a notable disconnect with nature and the natural world for some people.
‘We ought to be coming out of lockdown thinking: ‘what can we do to make a difference? Those people who are trashing scenic places up and down the UK, maybe they don’t understand that the destruction of global ecosystems is the reason that viruses are now emerging?’
It was not only beautyspot to be impacted as people headed out in the wake of the lockdown restrictions being eased in Scotland at the weekend.
Although the vast majority tidied up after themselves, chunks of broken glass was found on the sands at Ganavan beach – putting unsuspecting feet and paws at risk, said Jasmine Manning.
At least at the latter, many had considerately bagged up their rubbish and placed it next to public waste bins.
But the three bins serving the beach were quickly overwhelmed and Jasmine appealed to people to take their litter home.
Argyll and Bute Council has urged people to stay at home as much as possible, stay local and within five miles of where they leave and keep two-metres apart.
‘That anyone would choose to leave litter anywhere is shameful,’ said a spokesperson.
‘Bins are emptied frequently, but in good weather and on holidays they can fill up fast. When that is the case, people should take their litter away with them. In no circumstances is it acceptable to leave rubbish behind.’
‘If you do go outdoors, think carefully about your visit before leaving. Our car parks and facilities including public toilets remain closed until we can open them in line with guidance for staying safe from COVID-19.’
In the wake of this weekend, a local group has been set up on Facebook which can be found at ‘Country Watch Coronavirus – Act Responsibly.’
It said the new group aimed to make such places safer for families and outdoor activities hygienic and tidy.
‘We aim to even show what we have come across, having locals muddle in together to help keep things clean and finding ways to create less rubbish around our wonderful country.’