Sewage waste is believed to have been illegally dumped near a loch on the Isle of Bute on at least three separate occasions. 

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has launched an investigation following three anonymous complaints since November 2021. 

The waste, which appears to be from septic tanks, was dropped into woodlands near Loch Quien. 

The loch is commonly used for trout fishing but also is home to a number of birds such as the tufted ducks and goldeneyes in the winter.

In the summer months, passing ospreys also use the body of water to fish for prey.

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Councillor Kieron Green, policy lead for planning and regulatory services said: “The illegal disposal of waste materials can have serious consequences not only to public health but also to wildlife and the landscape.

"If you’re out and about near Loch Quien and witness any suspicious behaviour, please help stop this irresponsible behaviour and contact Sepa.”

Photographs show tyre tracks similar to that of a tractor and other off-road vehicles leading up to the woodland. 


Sepa is now appealing to the public to support their investigation into the criminal behaviour.

Senior environment protection officer Benedict Tustin said: "We’re asking members of the public to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to Sepa, such as unusual vehicle movements, or information on companies or persons known to be offering a septic tank service in the area.

“Bute has a close-knit community, and we believe someone on the island will have information that will assist our enquiries.

"We are urging them to do the right thing and come forward in confidence.”

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Criminals carrying out illegal waste activities can face significant consequences and those caught risk a criminal conviction.

The environmental regulator can also issue fines of up £40,000.

To report any suspected illegal waste disposal activity, members of the public can contact or call 0800 80 70 60.