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The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) says it has not ruled out installing portable toilets to help local communities deal with the growing influx of visitors expected this month to its sites at Glenfinnan and Glencoe.
NTS closed its visitors centres in both locations at the start of the coronavirus lockdown, but with no other public toilet provision in the areas it has led to growing local concern of how communities will cope.
Glenfinnan alone normally sees almost 400,000 visitors annually, with people drawn to see the 1745 monument and the famous viaduct which appeared in the Harry Potter movies.
The Jacobite steam train, immortalised as the Hogwarts Express in the films, also restarts its popular services later this month, while August’s 275th anniversary of the raising of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s standard at Glenfinnan to signal the start of the 1745 rising, will provide another reason for visitors to make the trip to the area.
But with lockdown travel restrictions being eased from tomorrow (Friday), a spokesperson for NTS told the Lochaber Times this week: ‘Following the Scottish Government’s latest announcements, we are continuing to work on plans for reopening our visitor centres at both Glenfinnan and Glencoe. We don’t have specific dates set as yet, but will share this information as soon as we do.
‘We are in touch with community councils, local marketing groups and Highland Council in relation to both sites, and are keen to work together on plans for welcoming back visitors to the area safely. Managing this in a way that is sensitive to our heritage sites, our landscapes and our neighbours will be a priority for us.
‘At this stage, we’re not ruling out any options or proposals, including provision of portable toilets, but will make our decisions following discussion and assessment of the risks, considering practicalities such as safety, hygiene and cost.’