Scotland’s outdoor instructors will be trained to reduce their impact on the wild in a series of sessions starting tomorrow.
Wilderness Scotland senior guide Myles Farnbank will run the workshop at venues across the country as part of the Scottish Natural Heritage move to encourage environmentally friendly and responsible wild camping techniques. 150 instructors will take part.
Mr Farnbank is accredited by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in the USA.
He said: “Individuals and parties who set out to travel and camp on wild land, rivers and coast will be interacting closely with the natural landscape and habitat.
“It’s important to be aware of how that interaction can leave impacts which change the quality of that environment both as a habitat for wildlife and as landscape for other visitors.
“The workshops will help outdoor instructors identify activities and behaviour which might cause damage or pollution and demonstrate ways to minimise impact and remove any traces of camping activity.”
Instructors will receive information and resources about minimising the impact of camp fires and responsible disposal of human toilet waste. Other aspects will include planning and preparation, travel and camping on durable surfaces, leaving what is found, respecting wildlife and being considerate of hosts and other visitors.
SNH outdoor access adviser Eleanor Macgregor said: “SNH is eager to back this campaign devoted to encouraging responsible behaviour and help campers follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
“It is important that we persuade people through positive examples of good practice and smart behaviour and our outdoor instructors are the ideal people to teach these methods and spread the message. We hope that messages can be integrated to outdoor activity sessions and cascaded to clients.”
“The ‘Leave No Trace’ ethos is all about understanding how we can enjoy the outdoors while protecting the natural areas and the experiences we all enjoy. It encourages us all to ensure we combine knowledge and judgement with ethical responsibility whenever we visit the outdoors”
Walkers, climbers, mountaineers and paddlers all have superior rights in Scotland to the rest of Britain, including those of wild camping in unenclosed areas. Last year, according to SNH, a number of high profile cases of antisocial and careless behaviour at wild camping sites raised concerns after some locations were affected by vandalism, out of control fires, rubbish, abandoned equipment and pollution from unburied human waste.
The Leave No Trace campaign will be instigated at Glenmore Lodge, the national outdoor activities centre, tomorrow, Friday.
Details are on the Institute for Outdoor Learning website.
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code says wild campers should:
- Carry a trowel to bury toilet waste and urinate well away from open water, rivers and burns
- Use a stove or leave no trace of any camp fire
- Never cut down or damage trees
- Take away your rubbish and consider picking up other litter as well