Locals in the Scottish Highlands have been left outraged after a group of tourists from Yorkshire appeared to leave their toilet waste at a roadside during their tour of the North Coast 500.

As reported by the Press and Journal, the group, known as TPD TV, recorded an hour-long video which they uploaded to their YouTube Channel, in which they made unfavourable remarks about Scotland and the Highlands - calling it “boring” and saying it lacked history.

However, the footage showing the dumping of toilet waste on a layby, thought to be in Caithness, has sparked anger amongst local residents and officials alike, after the incident was reported to Police Scotland, Highland Council, Sepa and the NC500 organisation.

Now, the group has posted on social media apologising for their behaviour.

In a statement released on behalf of TPD TV, the group said: “Over the last 72 hours we have been reflecting and learning how much of an issue pollution is in the Scottish highlands.

"We have learned that this is an ongoing issue for people living the ‘van life’ - a life we covet and admire, along with being an [sic] big concern for residents of the Scottish highlands in general.

“Whilst we can confidently say that we do stage a lot of our entertainment, that is not relevant. We set the wrong example this time and we want to do something to make it right."

The group adds that “in order to be a part of the solution, not the problem,” they will be taking action by making a “substantial donation” to Keep Scotland Beautiful, a charity that specialises in maintaining the beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

They added: “We love and respect Scotland dearly, which our regular viewers know and understand.”

Toby Stainton, co-founder of Loch Ness Living - a business with the concepts of sustainability and ‘Slow Tourism’ at its heart - reached out to the group offering advice on how to travel more sustainably in future.

He told The Herald: “There have been a number of concerns about ‘dirty’ campers and I’ve certainly encountered a couple of examples of this around Loch Ness. However, when you consider the volume of visitors we have in a typical tourist season the percentage is still very small.

“It is frustrating that a small number of people think it’s ok to behave like this and that’s where education and engaging with them can play its part." 

He added: “I think it’s hard to understand that mindset, why would you visit somewhere like Balnakeil Beach for example and then leave a mess behind? You’ve clearly wanted to visit the area because of the natural beauty so why on earth would you want to leave it in a worse state than you found it?" 

A spokesperson for The Highland Council said: “This is irresponsible and disgusting behaviour which certainly doesn’t reflect the behaviour of the thousands of visitors we have each year on the route.  

“We urge visitors to the region to enjoy their stay in our beautiful locations but to ‘leave no trace’.

“Sadly, a minority continue to take no responsibility for their own actions.

"In these cases, officers from the Council will work with Police Scotland and SEPA to take appropriate enforcement action. This may include using fixed penalty notice (FPN) powers under fly-tipping legislation which can result in a £200 FPN being issued to offenders.”

Mr Stainton, who provides walking tours of the local area, says that generally most tourists “get it” and understand the impact they have on the environment.

However, he acknowledge that not everyone was on the same page: “There are undoubtedly some who don’t really care but again, engaging with visitors and pressing home the message that taking your (figurative and literal) crap home isn’t all that hard is part of the solution.

“The NC500 and Skye have been particular pressure points over the last few years and if you have that much traffic it is bound to bring problems with it. The key is persuading people to explore the wider area and also sort out some of the infrastructure issues across the Highlands.

"Better toilet and disposal facilities would mitigate some of the problems we’ve seen so far – but that requires money and we all know what Covid has done to that.”

You can find out more about Loch Ness Living here.