The SNP’s Gail Ross (pictured), Member of the Scottish Parliament for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross has today, Wednesday 22nd of July, written to Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism, to urge him to address the concerns of many people in the north who are becoming increasingly concerned at the impact that irresponsible tourists are having on local communities in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross.
Speaking today Gail said:
“I am inundated with messages from constituents who are becoming increasingly frustrated with what they feel is a complete disregard for their communities and environment; from both irresponsible visitors and tourism websites.
“There are places being promoted that will never be suitable for overnight stays, including farmland and common grazings.
“There is real concern that the NC500 route in particular is being heavily promoted and advertised to campervan and caravan users without any regard to the lack of infrastructure available on the route at present or the impact that those who camp irresponsibly is having on the environment and the communities.
“A warm Highland welcome will always be extended to visitors in the Highlands, however, there are several places now where communities are overwhelmed with rubbish, waste and damage from fires.
“I feel action must be taken soon to stop resentment growing and protect our precious and beautiful places.
“I would appeal to anyone who is considering visiting our area to plan ahead carefully and ensure that they have access to the facilities that they need to dispose of waste and camp responsibly.
“I also appeal to the government to take this issue seriously and look I forward to the next meeting of the NC500 working group discussing this issue.”