Visitors are asked to enjoy the outdoors responsibly as temperatures rise. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Visitors are asked to enjoy the outdoors responsibly as temperatures rise. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Authorities in Scotland are urging the public to respect the outdoors environment as the nation readies itself for an expected weekend heatwave.

NatureScot, the Holyrood Government’s advisory body on the outdoors, said record numbers of people are visiting the outdoors this year.

Staff on the ground report most are following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Eileen Stuart, NatureScot’s deputy director for nature and climate change, said: “Our national nature reserves have been extremely busy again this summer and it’s great to see so many people enjoying the outdoors and connecting with nature.

“While we have experienced isolated incidents of anti-social behaviour and wildlife disturbance, we’re pleased to say that the vast majority of people are behaving responsibly as they enjoy their visits. With a heatwave on the horizon, we hope that will continue as we head into the busiest part of the year.“

Adam Streeter-Smith, outdoor access officer at the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said: “We are looking forward to finer weather this weekend, which brings more people outside but also brings a greater fire risk.

“Whether you are visiting for the first time or just enjoying the place where you live please don’t light campfires in the national park, stick to a camping stove for your cooking and follow local advice for the area.”

Kenny Auld, head of visitor services at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “Lots of people will be planning to get out and about this weekend and we are lucky in Scotland to have so many outstanding options right on our doorstep.

“National park rangers will be on the ground engaging with visitors and providing information on how they can enjoy their visit while respecting the environment, communities and wildlife here in the national park.

“Our top tip is to plan ahead: check the live car park updates on our website, bring a bag so you can take your litter away and think about where your nearest toilets will be.”

The Mountain Weather Information Service is forecasting temperatures of 25C in Scotland’s glens over the weekend, with summit temperatures rising to 17C.

Vicki Miller, director of marketing and digital at VisitScotland, said: “We’ve seen a fantastic reaction to the responsible tourism campaign, both through VisitScotland’s own activity and our partners, since it was launched in March as part of a Scotland-wide strategic and coordinated approach to visitor management.

“This work will continue and the message remains as important, to ask visitors to #RespectProtectEnjoy the outdoors and communities, right through the summer holidays to ensure our beautiful country is retained for others to enjoy.”

Details of responsible outdoor use are in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.