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Loch Lomond hires full time member of staff to tackle growing littering problem

Loch Lomond beauty spots are marred by litter

A Scottish national park has hired a full time member of staff to tackle its growing littering problem which reached a record high last year at its most popular beauty spots.

Loch Lomond has been facing pressure to combat the tide of plastic waste, abandoned camping gear and tin cans which has blighted many of its spectacular viewpoints.

Now, the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority has employed a Litter Prevention Manager to deal with the “negative consequences of high visitor numbers”.

The person, who has been in post for just a few weeks, will be paid between £36,000 and £43,000.

It is understood to be the first time a British national park has hired such an individual, as they usually rely on volunteers or groundsmen to manage their waste problems.

The National Park, which is said to be the boundary between the Lowlands and the Highlands, attracts over four million visitors every year 

Credit:
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Europe

The advertisement for the job read: “Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park covers over 720 square miles of Scotland’s finest countryside which welcomes more than four million visitors each year.

“At present one of the negative consequences of high visitor numbers, often in more rural parts of the National Park, is the amount of waste that is generated, and often discarded as litter.

“You will be responsible for developing our litter strategy, building excellent relationships with key stakeholders using your knowledge and experience to work with a broad range of partners to develop and then implement a joined-up litter strategy for the National Park.”

The loch itself, which is said to be the boundary between the Lowlands and the Highlands, has long been a destination for writers keen to draw inspiration from the idyllic scenery.

William Wordsworth wrote ‘To A Highland Girl’ when he visited the area with his sister Dorothy in 1803.

However, Twitter and Facebook are full of posts from visitors who said their recent visits had been ruined by plastic bags full of people’s waste scattered across the countryside.

Fly-tipping is also a huge problem, with burnt out cars, abandoned tyres and other detritus affecting laybys and verges.

The National Park, which is said to be the boundary between the Lowlands and the Highlands, attracts over four million visitors every year and has some of Scotland’s busiest major roads passing through it.

Litter levels in Scotland are at their worst in a decade with 82% of motorways and A-road verges containing litter in 2016/17.

The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority has employed a Litter Prevention Manager to deal with the “negative consequences of high visitor numbers”

Credit:
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority/Triangle News

Last year Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, a conservation charity who work in the national park, suggested a five-point action plan to be adopted by councils and bodies such as the National Park Authority and Forestry Commission Scotland.

But the park has been hindered by the fact that much of its 720 square miles is covered by different councils who don’t have the same litter collecting strategies.

A spokesperson from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “The national park is one of the most beautiful places in Scotland but unfortunately litter can be a problem blighting some parts of this outstanding landscape, especially during peak periods.

“Our new Litter Prevention Manager will play a vital role in helping to work collaboratively with stakeholders throughout the national park to prevent litter spoiling the natural beauty of the area.”

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