“Easing of Lockdown Restrictions Not Licence To Litter” – David Stewart MSP

Highlands and Islands Scottish Labour MSP, David Stewart, has voiced his concerns about the potential increase in flytipping and littering across the region ahead of the expected further lifting of lockdown restrictions and the move into Phase 2 of the Scottish Government route-map.

After the first changes to Scotland’s lockdown restrictions were implemented taking the country into Phase 1 last month there was a spike in anti-social behaviour, flytipping and littering at a number of beauty spots in the region including at Dores Beach near Inverness which Mr Stewart contacted Police Scotland and Highland Council about after local residents raised concerns.

To coincide with restrictions beginning to lift and to help inform the public about enjoying the outdoors responsibly, organisations including the National Farmers Union (Scotland) have produced a new range of colourful posters for their members and will launch these in the next few days.

Commenting on the issue, David Stewart MSP said:

“The vast majority of the public across the Highlands and Islands have of course behaved well and have followed the guidelines to the letter, but as we saw when restrictions were lifted in Phase 1, a small minority acted totally irresponsibly leaving litter and waste at many beauty spots.

“As we move towards Phase 2 and the further lifting of restrictions it is vital that people do not see the easing of lockdown restrictions as a licence to litter.

“Communities across the region have been blighted by the irresponsible actions of others over recent weeks through flytipping, vandalism, groups holding picnics and parties, often with dangerous barbeques and failing to take litter home with them.

“I hope that people will listen to and follow the new guidelines carefully and enjoy the outdoors responsibly within the rules and with respect to the countryside and the environment.”