IT IS the fictional site of James Bond’s childhood home, used to breathtaking effect in the movie Skyfall, and draws in thousands of walkers and wild campers each year.

However, for the handful of residents who call Glen Etive home, living in one of Scotland’s most remote beauty spots comes with a heavy price.

“Only seven people live in Glen Etive, but they have a terrible life,” said Viki Sutherland, 76, who has lived in the area for 20 years with her husband Alister in his childhood home.

Wild camping, littering and tourist traffic are long-standing problems, which the community says have been exacerbated by the pandemic as those from urban areas maximised the break between lockdown restrictions to head to the Highlands and other areas of the Scottish countryside. 

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Residents say there were many breaches. One camper van is said to have been parked for a week between Christmas and New Year, while 167 tents were pitched one night during the summer.

HeraldScotland:

The community welcomed the announcement that £375,000 has been allocated by the Scottish Government to address “increasing visitor pressures” in the Glen Etive and Glencoe area as part of a fund that aims to improve tourism infrastructure in rural areas.

The money will be used to improve car parking provision and introduce measures to restrict traffic, in a joint project with Highland Council and the National Trust for Scotland

Residents are also pushing for an alcohol ban directed at campers, an idea that was shelved a few years ago because local councillors were told it would be impossible to pursue law breakers. However, the community says it has the support of police and local MSP Kate Forbes.

Mrs Sutherland, who is originally from Denmark but has lived in Scotland for 57 years, said she was subjected to a torrent of online abuse when she suggested that some visitors contribute nothing to the local area, apart from presumably strife.

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“I got dog’s abuse when I suggested that campervans didn’t really bring any benefit to the community,” she said: “They have got their own accommodation, their own food. I had over 80 posts, telling me to go back to Denmark. 

“Someone said I should be shot. I’m 76, I’m not used to that.

“There are lots of things that we want and the money is obviously not going to cover it all.

HeraldScotland:

"Even though we have an extremely good community policeman here, Glen Etive is a long way from Fort William and if they are going to apprehend anyone... They reckon to charge someone from Glen Etive would take up four hours of their time.

“Basically, there aren’t enough police – it’s a huge area.

“One of the residents counted 167 tents one evening with no toilet facilities.

"The police go down and they say ‘we can’t go anywhere because we’ve already drunk four cans of beer’.’

HeraldScotland:

“So we want to get an alcohol ban. Our councillor needs to get the permission from the procurator fiscal and he’s been on to this for about six months and he’s keeping on at it.

“The police also think that an alcohol ban is the way forward because at least then if they have been drinking, the police can book them.”

The community want “no parking” signs erected in lay-bys which Mrs Sutherland said would allow police to charge drivers. 

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She said: “The stalker and his wife have a little girl who goes to the local school in Glen Coe. It’s 10 miles to the end of the Glen Etive Road where she catches the school bus. In the summer that can take them an hour and a quarter because people park, often overnight, in passing places meaning you can’t get off the road if someone comes towards you.”

Mrs Sutherland and her husband moved to Glen Coe from Helensburgh after he retired as a solicitor. She is actively involved in the community council and is hopeful that life will improve for her Glen Etive neighbours.

“This really has an impact on the local community.”