Scots are being urged to help avoid 'selfish, irresponsible behaviour' which has seen beauty spots across the country swamped with litter and human waste as lockdown restrictions ease.

Government agencies, campaigners and environmental experts have come together to issue a joint plea for people to act responsibly as restrictions ease further throughout Scotland.

In the last few weeks, Scots have been allowed to venture further from there homes as part of the Scottish Government's route map out of lockdown.

But some tourist hot spots have seen their landscapes and environments marred by a barrage of litter and human waste.

Forestry and Land Scotland has reminded members of the public that while many car parks and beauty spots are now open, waste collection services may not be operational.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

Chief executive Simon Hodgson said: “As Scotland gets re-accustomed to travelling further afield for leisure pursuits, we are appealing to the public to help avoid repeats of the selfish, irresponsible behaviour that over the past few weeks has seen many sites swamped by litter – or even despoiled by human waste.

“This sort of anti-social behaviour not only creates a significant health hazard but also eats in to the limited resources that land managers have at their disposal.

“We would urge people to first of all think carefully about their travel plans, and secondly to behave like people who are proud to be able to call such a beautiful country home: don’t visit sites until they are open and take your litter home.”

Mr Hodgson added: “The sad thing is, many of the people responsible for the littering would say they were proud to live in Scotland, and yet as we have seen over the past few weeks, they treat our beautiful countryside in this contemptible manner. It’s not acceptable.”

The call has been backed by Zero Waste Scotland, Keep Scotland Beautiful, Scottish Water, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage and Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter:

Recent incidents have seen people charged after damaging national parks and 'culpable and reckless conduct' across Scotland.

Between Friday, July 3 and Sunday, July 6, more than 20 people were charged with breaches of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Camping Management Bylaws.

Broken glass, bin bags of rubbish and sleeping bags were left littered across the park. 

In some areas, irreparable fire damage was caused to trees and the ground. 

A shocking 19 bags of litter were collected from a single site, with another site wielding a further ten.

Iain Gulland, chief executive at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “With limited access available to activities and facilities, our areas of beauty are more important than ever before for people to enjoy some exercise and fresh air. We are fortunate to live in such a wonderful country and ask people not to spoil the enjoyment of everyone else.

“People who litter are committing a criminal offence, are often risking our safety and polluting our environment. There are no excuses, if you take it out with you, bin it or take it home when you are done.”