Lay-bys in the Scottish Highlands will be kitted out with trowels in a bid after an influx of staycationers sees a rise in people using the beauty spot as an outdoor toilet.
Community councillors want to put 150 garden trowels at roadside stops around tourist hotspots near Ullapool and Dundonnell for visitors to clean up their faecal waste.
The route is part of the popular North Coast 500 which has seen a rise in tourists as Brits flock to the Highlands for staycations.
Fed-up locals living along the NC500 route have already hit out at wild campers trashing beauty spots and leaving rubbish behind.
Cark parks and beauty spots along the A838 are busy as tourists take to the North Coast 500 route on July 29 in Ullapool, Scotland, with plans in place to kit out the rural area with trowels
The rural area’s lack of toilet facilities combined with a sharp rise in visitors caused an upsurge in people going for the loo in the countryside.
So far 90 plastic trowels have been ordered by Lochbroom Community Council, which has also printed correx maps of toilet facilities in the area at lay-bys to inform visitors.
Topher Dawson, chairman of the community council, said the trowels will help visitors and locals who get caught short.
The community council has been granted £990 from the North Highland Initiative, which helped set up the popular North Coast 500 tourist route.
Mr Dawson said: ‘It’s easy to get outraged about this but I actually feel sorry for visitors to the Highlands who need to do the toilet outdoors.
‘Clearly we’ve got more visitors than toilets. We can’t do too much about it this year but as a temporary measure we’ll put up signs.
So far 90 plastic trowels have been ordered by Lochbroom Community Council, which has also printed correx maps, pictured above, of toilet facilities in the area at lay-bys
‘We’ve got around 60 or 70 miles of road in the area and there’s a gap of about 50 miles with no toilet at all.
‘We want to make visitors and locals free from contamination.’
He added: ‘We’ve printed maps of all the toilets in the Highlands and camping guidance from Mountaineering Scotland.
‘This is to offer help and assistance to people who’re caught short – we’re just trying to improve the situation for everybody. We’ve ordered 90 trowels so far and plan on ordering another 60.
‘It’s not a great situation but we’re just trying to do the best we can to make it better.
‘Meanwhile we’ll work to try and get more toilets built.’