Dirty camping at Loch Tummel last weekend caused renewed local anger as the beach was left strewn with broken glass when a large group abandoned their gear and felled a tree.

Residents were dispirited to yet again have to try to protect wildlife and their home patch from litter, including many nitrous oxide canisters and shards of glass.

Overnight stays are still banned as is the consumption of alcohol outside in the countryside.

Police visited the scene on the Foss Road a few miles from Pitlochry on Sunday morning and spoke to a large gathering of young people, advising them to take away their litter.

But the patrol officers were too late to confront a second bunch of campers who legged it early, leaving behind around 50 empty bottles, a massive fire pit and six tents.

Clearing up half burnt chairs, abandoned bottles and torn tents
Clearing up half burnt chairs, bottles and abandoned tents angered locals

The remains of that large gathering needed an hour or more clear up on Sunday.

Tummel residents Andy and Jenny dealt with the clear up but were angry at the police’s lack of power to arrest or prevent the antisocial lawbreakers.

Andy, who is part of the visitor management group, clocked 25 vehicles and around 15 separate camp sites near Loch Tummel on Saturday.

He described the dirty campers as an “absolute group of animals”.

His wife Jenny shared pictures of the weekend carnage as she awaited Perth and Kinross Council workers to come out and take away the tents and waste on Monday.

She said: “The police are hoping to prosecute these people for fly-tipping which will be really good as it will not only set an example, but also, if successful, it can be used for future instances where we encounter sites like this.

“As well as vehicle registration numbers, there were witnesses including ourselves and till receipts left on the site.”

Jenny told the PA when she passed the camp at around 7.15pm on Saturday evening, she saw dozens of beer bottles laid out “like a trophy table” and suspected the empties would not be taken away.

a young tree was chopped then left because it was too green to burn
a young tree was chopped then left because it was too green to burn

The campers had a big fire pit and a tree that had been alive and growing had been felled, but being too green to burn had been left where it was cut.

Jenny took a note of the number plates and the police called back in the morning.

She said: “I’d really like to see the Outdoor Access Code reviewed. If that were to happen, I believe everybody should be involved in finding a solution.

“We need the rights of responsible campers protected, but we badly need the police to be enabled to enforce breaches of the code.

“Realistically the police can’t do this alone. We have maybe one patrol able to oversee the whole of Highland Perthshire on a busy summer weekend.

“There needs to be something in the code to control visitor numbers.

“Places like along the Foss Road by Loch Tummel are seeing 500 people staying in a small space.

“There are no toilets. If toilets are put in, they need to be right for the countryside and consideration given to how they work and are maintained and how many and how far apart they are placed to be effective.”

Jenny pointed out that volunteer ‘citizen’ rangers haven’t been recruited yet.

Highland Ward Councillor Xander McDade saw the Foss Road pictures and responded online: “We can never eliminate this altogether but we can certainly get it a lot better than the current situation.

“That site is just a disgrace and I’m glad the reg numbers are with the police to take action.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: "Police attended on Foss Road, Pitlochry in the morning of Sunday, April 18, 2021 following the report of fly tipping in the area.

The local council were also in attendance and enquiries remain ongoing."