The work of the Council’s Access Rangers across a busy summer season in the Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh area was discussed by local members as part of their Area Committee.
During a presentation to provide Councillors with facts and figures on the work carried out to promote responsible behaviour, it was revealed that the team carried out 5,406 site visits within the ward, undertook 545 patrols and engaged face-to-face with 5,279 people to welcome and remind them of their responsibilities.
Three Rangers spent the summer months completely in Ward 5, with a further 2 seasonal rangers covering some specific geographic areas that border other wards.
Figures collected include:
- Incidents of Motorhome waste dumping has risen from 16 in 2021 to 26 incidents in 2022. A reflection perhaps in the increase in motorhomes visiting the area to 7,357 from 6,881.
- There’s been a reduction in informal camping with 812 roadside tents compared to 1,616 in 2021
- The team collected 1,501 bags of litter, a rise from 1,210 bags last summer
- A decrease in the number of fires from 920 in 2021 to 561 in 2022.
- Overall visitor numbers, in terms of cars parked and people seen are very similar to last year at around 10,000.
When carrying out their patrols, Access Rangers report incidents to other services and due to this interaction, the number of parking warning notices issued in 2022 has had a slight increase from 61 in 2021 to 72.
Chair of the Committee, Cllr Biz Campbell said:
“It was good to get an update on what was a busy season.
“The Access Rangers have been very proactive, and the figures show their intervention is very much needed when it comes to promoting responsible and respectful behaviour when visitors come to spend time in our communities.
“It is encouraging to hear that the number of reports of fly tipping are down on last year, as is the figure on fires lit so the messages are filtering through, but it is concerning that the number has increased for Motorhome waste dumping and there has been a 25% increase in the amount of litter the Rangers have had to clear up.
“We still have work to do to promote good practice so everyone can make the most of their time spent in our area.”