Locals are angry in the Scottish Highlands after a group of Yorkshire tourists left their toilet waste on the side of the road during their North Coast 500 tour.
The party, known as TPD TV, posted an hour-long video that they uploaded to their YouTube channel, as reported by the Press and Journal newspaper, in which they made disparaging remarks about Scotland and the Highlands – calling it “boring” and claiming it lacked history.
However, after the incident was reported to Police Scotland, Highland Council, Sepa and the NC500 organisation, the video showing toilet waste being dumped in a resting place, probably in Caithness, ignited outrage among residents and authorities alike.
Now, to apologize for its actions, the group has taken to social media.
The group said in a statement released on behalf of TPD TV, “We have reflected and learned over the past 72 hours how big the pollution problem is in the Scottish Highlands.”
We have discovered that for people living the ‘Van Life,’ this is an ongoing issue – a life we covet and respect, along with a great concern for the people of the Scottish Highlands in general.
“While we can confidently say that we stage a lot of our entertainment, it’s not relevant. We set a wrong example this time and we want to do something to make it right.”
– November 18, 2020 – TPD TV (@OfficialTPDTV)
The group added that they want to take action with a “to be part of the solution, not the problem,” to Keep Scotland Beautiful, a charity that specializes in maintaining the beauty of the Scottish Highlands, “substantial donation”
“We love and respect Scotland dearly, which our regular viewers know and understand.”We dearly love and respect Scotland, which our regular viewers understand and know.
The group was addressed by Toby Stainton, co-founder of Loch Ness Living – a business that keeps the principles of sustainability and ‘slow tourism’ close to its heart – and provided guidance on how to travel more sustainably in the future.
He said: “There have been a number of concerns about ‘dirty’ campers and I have certainly seen a few examples of that around Loch Ness. However, the percentage is still very small when you consider the amount of visitors we have in a typical tourist season.”
“It’s frustrating that a small number of people think it’s okay to behave this way, and that’s where education and outreach can play a role.”
“He added, “For example, I think it’s difficult to understand that mentality. Why would you visit a place like Balnakeil Beach and then leave a mess? For its natural beauty, people obviously wanted to visit the place, so why would you leave it in a worse condition than you found it on earth? ”
“This is irresponsible and disgusting behavior that certainly does not reflect the behavior of the thousands of visitors we have each year on the route,” a Highland Council spokeswoman said.
We invite visitors to the area to enjoy their stay in our lovely places, but do not leave a trace.
“Sadly, a minority continues to take no responsibility for their own actions,”
Council officers will consult with Police Scotland and SEPA in all situations to take effective action. This will involve using the powers of the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) under fly-tipping rules, which may result in the issuance of a £ 200 FPN to offenders.
Mr. Stainton, who provides walking tours of the area, says that most visitors “get it” in general and appreciate the effect they have on the environment.
However, he admits that not everyone is on the same page: “There are undoubtedly some who do not really care, but again, part of the solution is to engage with visitors and get the message across that taking your (figurative and literal) crap home with you is not that difficult.”
“In recent years, the NC500 and Skye have become unique pressure points, and it is bound to bring problems when you have so much traffic. The key is to get people to explore further afield and also to fix some of the Highlands’ infrastructure problems.
“Better toilets and waste disposal facilities would alleviate some of the problems we’ve seen so far – but that requires money and we all know what Covid has done with that.”