One of Scotland’s national parks has launched a campaign to encourage campers to take up “responsible toileting” to stop people relieving themselves in the open.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is publishing a map of public toilets in the area so that people answer the call of nature before they set off on long walks.
It is hoped that these “last-chance loo stops” will stop people pooing in the open, following a consistent level of calls from the public reporting sightings of human excrement wrapped in toilet paper and dumped on the banks of the loch and in the woods.
Anyone who can’t hold it in at Three Lochs Forest Drive in the Trossachs will be able to borrow a trowel to dig a hole to bury their faeces, while drop bins to place “poo packs” have also been installed.
Nik Turner, the National Park Authority’s litter prevention manager, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programmed: “People are leaving it out in the wild for anyone to see.
“Alongside poo bins - which are just like a dog waste bin - we have poo pack dispenser points.”
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She added: “The response we’ve had to our campaign and the trials we are running has been really positive.
“However we do have lots of information and advice on our website about how to poo responsibly if you are going on an adventure in the great outdoors.
“We’re asking people to plan ahead so they don’t get caught short and to bring either a trowel or poo bags and always make sure to bag and bin toilet paper and sanitary items too...
“No one wants to be confronted with someone else’s poo when they’re camping or enjoying a picnic.
“Not only is it gross and unsightly, but improper disposal of human waste can be harmful to the environment, wildlife and people. It really puts other campers and visitors off and costs a considerable amount of time and resources to deal with.
“Everyone poos but not everyone knows what to do when they need a poo in the great outdoors.”
Visit Scotland said the campaign would “help all of Scotland’s wonderful natural, cultural and historical sites to continue inspiring and enchanting others for years to come”.