Perth and Kinross Council vows to take “robust” approach to dirty camping enforcement as hotspot areas are revealed

Perth and Kinross Council has promised a “more robust” approach to dirty camping in 2021.

Councillors will meet this week to discuss plans to tackle the issue in the region after a rise in visitor numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PKC is now putting plans in place to deal with an anticipated increase in visitor numbers next year and prioritise hotspot areas for action.

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An environment and infrastructure committee will meet virtually on Wednesday to discuss the issue.

The council is taking a multi-agency approach to tackling the problems which have arisen from the “anti-social behaviour of a very small proportion” of visitors.

The report highlights issues with parking, littering/fly-tipping, damage (to fields and trees), human waste, unattended campfires as well as other anti-social behaviour fuelled by alcohol consumption.

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Earlier this year a multiagency working group was established which met weekly to review the previous week’s issues and take action ahead of the following week.

The working group comprised of Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Forestry and Land Scotland, Loch Rannoch Conservation Association and several PKC services: community greenspace, parking services, safer communities wardens and waste services.

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Council officers have also been working in conjunction with the national parks.

Two Perth and Kinross projects – in Aberfeldy and at Loch Leven – have been submitted for the Scottish Government’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF).

The funding application for River Tay Way, Aberfeldy Car Park is led by Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust.

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It is for a new toilet and shower block, waste disposal points for camper vans, and a River Tay Way information point.

The project would cost  £340,737 with match funding based on land value of  £100,000.

Loch Clunie by Blairgowrie has been identified as a hotspot

The application for Loch Leven Heritage Trail is led by RSPB Loch Leven.

It is for a new toilet block, including changing places toilet and accessible toilet, increased car parking including disabled parking and vehicle charging points.

This would cost £447,445 with RSPB providing match funding of  £128,952.

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A further project led by Loch Rannoch Conservation Association (LRCA) was not completed in time.

The proposal was to receive funding to support a package of measures including two toilet blocks – one at Carie and one at Kilchonan Car Park – with waste disposal points and recycling points.

The council report said officers will continue to support this project and aim to submit the project for RTIF funding in the future.

The report highlighted six hotspot areas for future priority action: Clunie Loch, Foss Road, Rannoch, Schiehallion, St Fillans and south Loch Earn, and Kenmore and Loch Tay.

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Officers said the approach taken to date had been “more preventative in nature, with enforcement only as a last resort.”

 But detailed plans are afoot to “ensure a more robust approach is taken to enforcement, if the circumstances require this” in 2021.

Proposed priority issues for infrastructure in the region are: parking, toilet provision, bins and waste water and toilet waste disposal points for campervans and motor homes.

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