Wildfires and Anti-Social Camping

The Issue:

This summer, like those before, we have seen our local Fire Fighters grapple with wildfires in our beauty spots such as Cannich, Daviot and Loch Morlich. While the climate crisis plays it’s part, more often than not so do people enjoying the space. 

The Land Reform Bill and Outdoor Access Code afford people the right to enjoy our land, which is an important right afforded to us all –most of whom are responsible.

Yet, it also allows our woodlands to be abused and lives put in danger by some irresponsible campers or visitors.

The Impact:

The impact of wildfires and indeed the abuse of our woodlands by some are irreparable to our natural ecosystem. We must do what we can to protect our woodlands for now and for future generations. 

Disrespectful behaviours that have become all too commonplace; woodlands strewn with rubbish and faeces ruin the natural beauty of our woodlands and tourism areas and are extremely upsetting to people in the local community. We must do all we can to promote responsible behaviours. 

Work I am doing:

We need a workable solution to protect our land from fires that could have been prevented and from the disrespectful behaviours that have become all too commonplace; woodlands strewn with rubbish and faeces. We want to protect our land for the people who live and work here, for our planet and for the people who come and enjoy our beautiful part of the world. 

This summer I wrote to key stakeholders to urge that we work together to find solutions, including the Cairngorms National Park Authority, the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, Local Councillors, the Highland Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland.

My colleague Kate Forbes MSP also hosted a roundtable event with local Stakeholders to discuss how we might tackle this issue in the future. I will continue to work with Kate, community groups like Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust and our public services to do what we can to protect our woodlands.


Share Your Views:

The conversation about how we protect our woodlands needs to be broader and deeper – it needs to be community-led.  

With that in mind, I’d welcome your thoughts on the matter: https://us13.list-manage.com/survey?u=79400f257882be15026d47c7a&id=220f8e35c1&attribution=false


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