Anger amid rise in 'dirty camping' in rural Scotland

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
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Lancashire
Just make sure your shallow hole is deep enough! I once couldn't dig one any deeper due to soil and a coughlans plastic trowel wasn't strong enough. Lesson learnt!
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Deep latrines were generally replaced years ago by “cat holes.” Once you get deeper than about 6 to 10 inches the soil is too sterile for the feces to decompose.
Yes. Most of the organisms that will turn faeces and tp into soil really are in the top few inches. The detritivores are incredibly effective, but they're not instantaneous.....and mind that most of the faeces is actually gut bacteria, and without some care it's an easy step to disease.

M
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Wee is easy. Nutritious for plants!

When I trekked alone ( which was most of the time) I moved a suitable stone, did my task, then placed the stone back.

I used to trek with our dog, and that was to prevent him using it as his 'favourite scent addition'.

He used to roll in fox poo too. Hell to clean in the outdoors!
 
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Toddy

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Some of our uplands are so nutritionally lacking that even the folks who scatter the ashes of cremated family and friends inadvertently alter the ecosystem. Repeated ash spreading in the same area can cause changes to soil composition and therefore plant growth
On some high digs even the loo has to be taken up and brought down. Nothing organic left to enrich the soil.
Thing is though, those areas are popular with climbers and even though archaeology is careful not to change the ecosystem, all those cat holes and piddles are rapidly changing the soil anyway. Rare alpine plants are becoming rarer, and the insects that live with them are disappearing too. Just like the repeated ash scattering, repeated 'toilet stops'
introduce nutrients that aren't really a normal part of the equation.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Interesting.

But, we are a part of the ecology, so our 'nutrient' adding is a part of the natural cycle?

In our last abode in England, we had an old cesspit that was in use, and the affluent seeped down a field. For about 10 meters there were the biggest, juiciest brambles and nettles you can imagine.
Further downhill, that part of the field had an interesting mix of flowers, different from the rest of the field.

What I dislike most is the remains after large fires.
 

Toddy

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Humans can't make a living on those exposed 'alpine' uplands. We occasionally find evidences of transhumance, but there's really so little grazing that even the deer aren't there.
So the environment hasn't evolved to deal with their waste, and instead plants which survive quite happily in severely impoverished soils, thrive.
Those ares are now often popular with climbers, tourists, etc., and they are literally destroying ecosystems that have been there since the recovery after the last ice age.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
Every individual believes that their own contribution to the change in the ecosystem is insignificant but that just isn't true in this over-populated country or anywhere else that draws large numbers of people to a small area.

The masses of nettle around old derelict cottages in the hills and woods show how long the effect lasts as well.
 
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Toddy

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Oh it does indeed :)
If you're looking for an old farm settlement, look for the nettles, that's usually where the end of the byre was.

M
 
The takeaway litter problem could be addressed by putting a bar code label that would supply time and basic card info used for purchase, from that photos and basic tracing info can be gleaned , it would also show that suppliers are taking more responsibility , and even disguising the purpose of the label from the great unwashed would be another minor step forward
 

Keith_Beef

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Sep 9, 2003
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Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
The takeaway litter problem could be addressed by putting a bar code label that would supply time and basic card info used for purchase, from that photos and basic tracing info can be gleaned , it would also show that suppliers are taking more responsibility , and even disguising the purpose of the label from the great unwashed would be another minor step forward
I had a very similar thought.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Baby, bathwater.

It's never been an offence to be somewhere just for a walk up here. Trespass isn't a law. It's not enshrined in some national psyche.
Our King, or Queen, is ruler of the People, not of the Land.
Even in the Lord's Prayer...it's, "Forgive us our debts", not, "Forgive us our trespasses".

People might own land, and the curtiledge of a demense is considered private and not to be lightly intruded upon. Same for growing crops, or disturbing farm animals, but that doesn't preclude other folks having a walk, a quiet camp, picnic, whatever, everywhere else.

The issue isn't the sheer number of people visiting, it's the very small percentage of selfish and thoughtless ones. Most folks do clear up behind them, that's why we still find it shocking to come across beauty spots spoiled by litter. The roadways and towns are regularly cleaned, no one makes comment on that littering very much. We do on countryside stuff though.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
As usual, it is the Few that destroy for the Many.

Yes, Broch, you can give the people Free Roaming.
But you need to educate them first.
Start in the institutions where people going into education train, then roll it out in all schools, including Kindergarten. Do lessons in nature, eat packed school lunch there. Take rubbish back.
Even a few hours in a park talking birds, trees and such is enough. Eat. take remains back for disposal.


But the odd person does not give a hoot about keeping the Nature clean. Those are everywhere.
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I'm not agin education, but I am agin a 'certificated' education like a licence.

It's modern life and attitudes that need to be addressed; not the right to roam. It needs a sea change right across the board. I think that education plays a huge part, but I think parent and peer pressure plays a greater one.

M
 

Trig

Nomad
Jun 1, 2013
274
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Scotland
Its the smashed bottles that really annoy me. Im against leaving rubbish of course, but if they are gonna leave glass bottles behind, the least they could do is not smash them all over the place first...

Camped on an island on Loch Awe last weekend, and as usual i tided up some of the rubbish, and tidied up some of the fire pits. Everyone just seems to use a new spot for a fire, and it ends up you can hardly pitch a tent anywhere. So i tidied up several of them, and left the main one in place so hopefully people at least use just that one. Found an old metal bowl on the island, so i built that into it raised on some stones so the ground doesnt get damaged.

But in the process of tidying up the other fire pits, all you find is broken glass smashed in amongst and around them. And tinfoil. I even found a fresh dirty nappy, which is a first admittably.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I'm not agin education, but I am agin a 'certificated' education like a licence.

It's modern life and attitudes that need to be addressed; not the right to roam. It needs a sea change right across the board. I think that education plays a huge part, but I think parent and peer pressure plays a greater one.

M
Nothing is wrong with modern life? Most 'western' countries have recycled for several decades, Germany and Eastern Europe since the 1940's. ( to solve lack of resources).
I would say overall that today we spread less waste than our parents generation ( those born before 1950 or so).

Attitude - huge problem there. I think that young parents of today are a huge problem, for many reasons. Too late to make them bring up the children in a better way, as they are well rooted in their upbringing ways.
The environmental awareness started in Sweden in early to mid 1970's. Schools had the major role. Us kids went home and taught our parents. I remember the discussions back at home. Why take the bottles we can not get a refund on, back, nothing wrong by throwing them in the lake, they will sink? Metal cans will rust? Leaded petrol - so little lead in it, it is ridiculous to ban it?


My parents did and do the enforced recycling, but reluctantly.
Peer pressure works, but then those yobs will not be friends with 'real' nature lovers, will they?

It is a deep rooted problem.
 
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Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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I think society as a whole is becoming more aware of the recycling issues, but that doesn't seem to apply to the folks who litter.
It's one thing sorting out household waste on a daily basis but it seems to be another thing entirely for folks at a festival or camping trip.

Social opprobium of simple things like single use carrier bags has really helped cut down on the numbers bought, used and dumped, and now the schoolkids are anti plastic straws, and plastic bottles are to be come returnable.
All these improvements are good, but it's not stopping the selfish idiots from trashing their camp or picnic site.

M
 

Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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The trouble is we are not realy recycling all our plastic waste, a great deal of it is sent to third world countries and messing up their environment. Some countries have had to turn ships away with our waste on board. Think of that carbon footprint! The "other"problem of body waste and the problems that causes are much harder to solve. If you need to go.... you need to go. It may not be possible to hang on long enough to get to civilisation . More education is needed on that problem too. It is never mentioned except as a disgusting occurance, so what can be done to educate these dirty campers?
 
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