OVER a thousand bags of litter have been collected from the National Park in just one month.

Staff at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park picked up 1,203 bags worth of rubbish in April in a co-ordinated push by staff, local authorities and communities get a head start on the littering issue ahead of the busiest visitor months.

There was reportedly a particular focus on the A82, where a large amount of litter traditionally accumulates.

Staff from the National Park Authority supported Argyll and Bute Council to clear the 15 mile stretch of the road from Duck Bay to Tarbet, deep cleaning laybys and verges and pulling litter from the undergrowth along the route. A total of 416 bags were lifted from this section alone.

West Dunbartonshire Council also organised an A82 clean up from Barloan Toll roundabout in Dumbarton to Stoneymollan roundabout above Balloch.

Simon Jones, director of environment and visitor services at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “We have dedicated staff time right through April to help clean the National Park up before the influx of visitors we are expecting this summer.

“We’ve seen a big difference already with visible improvements on the A82 in particular. Despite this effort from our staff, partners, local businesses and communities, there is more to be done, so we are calling on everyone to take responsibility for respecting and protecting this special place.

“As well as being a serious threat to the National Park’s wildlife, litter impacts local communities and affects visitors’ enjoyment while they are here.

"Coming out of lockdown, the benefits that people get from spending time in nature are more important than ever.

“We have significantly increased our resources on the ground for this season, with additional bins, toilets and staff to help tackle the issues we saw last year.

“But simply dedicating more and more resources to clearing litter up isn’t sustainable, or the answer long term.

"We have laid the groundwork with a big push on tackling litter but we want our Rangers to be on the ground helping people, not picking up after them.

"By bagging up their litter and taking it home if bins are full, visitors can play their part by leaving no trace of their visit.”

West Dunbartonshire's MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes, commented: "The outstanding beauty of the National Park right on our doorstep in West Dunbartonshire is something we can all take pride in.

"However, it's frustrating to see the extent of the waste and litter irresponsibly discarded blighting our parks and outdoor spaces.

"I'm grateful to the park rangers and volunteers who have worked hard to give our green spaces a spring clean.

"I'd urge anyone visiting Loch Lomond or surrounding areas in the coming weeks to play their part in keeping our wee part of Scotland beautiful.

"There's no excuse for littering - either bin your rubbish or take it home with you."

Visitors are being encouraged to share positive examples of how they dispose of their litter in the National Park on social media by tagging the National Park Authority @Lomondtrossachs.