National Trust for Scotland urges people to ‘love this place, leave no trace'
The National Trust for Scotland is urging visitors to ‘Love this place, leave no trace’ in a new campaign.
Scotland’s national conservation charity launched the campaign in a bid to address some of the serious issues faced at the properties and wild locations it cares for.
Over the past year, when lockdown restrictions have lifted, National Trust for Scotland staff have been delighted to welcome record numbers of visitors to the places it cares for including Mar Lodge Estate and Crathes Castle.
The cumulative effect of large numbers of people visiting the countryside can lead to unintended damage and the Trust has addressed this in recent months by providing advice on how to visit safely and responsibly.
However, staff have witnessed a rise in anti-social behaviour.
Fences and trees have been uprooted and used for firewood, Trust teams have dealt with a rise in littering and both human and animal waste, livestock and wildlife have been attacked and ‘worried’ by dogs running loose and irresponsible parking.
Paul Bolton, Head Ranger for Mar Lodge Estate National Nature Reserve explained: “When lockdown eased last summer, we saw a dramatic increase in visitors to our countryside and expect the same this summer. The cumulative effect of large numbers of people returning to the countryside caused unintended damage. Regrettably, we’re also seeing a rise in anti-social behaviour that is endangering our natural environment.”
Mar Lodge Estate has seen a dramatic rise in ‘dirty campers’ and taken a novel approach to the issue, introducing a ‘Trowel Station’ where people can borrow a trowel and bury their waste when camping.
James Henderson at Crathes Castle Garden and Estate added detail of further anti-social behaviour at Trust properties: “We’re seeing more people than ever enjoy the woodland that surrounds Crathes Castle. However, we’ve also seen a rise in anti-social behaviour. It takes an enormous amount of work to conserve Scotland’s iconic mountains, woodlands and coastlines. As a charity, we can only protect these places with your support.”
You find out more about the campaign at: www.nts.org.uk/leave-no-trace