A small village in the North of Scotland is being “swamped” by staycation tourists, according to local residents.

Neil Fuller from Durness, Highland, is concerned for his rural community after witnessing an influx of visitors to the area.


According to Mr Fuller, who runs the local bus service, most campers fail to take care of the natural environment, often leaving traces of waste and vandalism behind them.

Speaking to the Herald, Mr Fuller said: “Since the end of the 5-mile travel limit we have seen ever increasing numbers. The sites that are being used for dirty camping are being abused with fires, broken bottles, rubbish and human waste.

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“Now the campsite is fully open we all kind of hoped the dirty camping would end. However, the numbers keep rising and rising.

“I would hope Nicola will start the ball rolling to protect us from this kind of abuse.

“I’d also hope that maybe we could attract some attention to the difficulties that rural communities are facing and get the government to loosen the purse strings for road improvements and infrastructure.”

The village, which is on the popular North Coast 500 driving route, experiences traffic from walkers, cyclists and drivers every year.

But this summer the roads are like “the whacky races”, and Mr Fuller believes congestion has worsened since the end of lockdown.


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He added: “My buses can be running 15 to 20 minutes late after only 14 miles due to slow moving traffic and convoys.”

Exasperated, Mr Fuller, 50, took to Twitter to express his concerns on Saturday night, imploring First Minister Nicola sturgeon for “help”:

"@NicolaSturgeon Please help, our little village is being swamped. 27 tents on the wrong side of the campsite fence on Sango tonight. Parking on the verges, in passing places and in the machair, multiple fires and no end in sight." he said.

"This is a fragile dune system with rare wild flowers and rarer ground nesting solitary bees. It's being overwhelmed by footfall let alone the cars, campsites, fires and of course the toileting. It is relentless, day after day after day."

Campsites in Scotland were given the green light to reopen in Scotland from July 15, with many people opting to stay close to home rather than travel abroad in light of Covid-19.