300 used tyres dumped 'recklessly' in loch removed over three days

The discovery was made near a layby by a local fishery board last month.

300 used tyres dumped ‘recklessly’ in Loch Ness removed over three days Highland Council

Hundreds of used tyres that were dumped “recklessly” into Loch Ness have been removed after a three-day clean-up operation.

The “reckless” fly-tipping incident was reported to Highland Council on January 29 after being spotted by the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board while they were out filming near the beauty spot.

The tyres had been thrown down an escarpment near a layby on the A82 at the head of Urquhart Bay making their removal “very difficult”.

During the investigation, being led by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), it was discovered that 300 used tyres had been dumped – hundreds more than the initial estimate of around 100.

A three-day clean-up process, aided by volunteer teams from the fishery board and salmon farming company Mowi, alongside Highland Council, managed to remove all of the tyres.

Enquiries remain ongoing in to who was responsible for the fly-tipping.

Cllr Graham Mackenzie, chairman of Highland Council’s communities and place committee, said: “The council is extremely grateful for the support which ensured this horrendous incidence of fly-tipping was dealt with quickly.

Teams worked to remove the used tyres from the beauty spot. Photo: Highland CouncilHighland Council

“The location of the tyres made recovery problematic but was made possible thanks to some fantastic collaborative work between our staff, staff from Mowi, and members of the Ness Salmon Fishery Board.”

“It is very disappointing these tyres were recklessly disposed of in this manner without a thought for the environmental impact on one of Scotland’s most beautiful and popular tourist locations.

“Highland Council is already facing a significant budget gap and mindless acts like this only add to those financial pressures.

“Money spent on dealing with incidents like this only drain valuable resources needed to protect essential public services.”

Paul Griffiths, unit manager at SEPA, added: “Waste crime has a serious and detrimental impact on our environment, communities and compliant businesses.

SEPA say a lack of evidence makes catching those responsible 'extremely difficult'. Photo: Highland CouncilHighland Council

“Tyres in particular have the potential to release hazardous substances if set on fire and are a blight on the landscape if not treated, recycled or disposed of properly.

“A lack of evidence often makes catching the culprits extremely difficult, and the first line of defence is stopping criminals getting their hands on waste in the first place.

“A legitimate operator should be able to tell you their SEPA waste carrier licence number and the exact location your waste will be taken to. If they won’t provide those two pieces of information, don’t give them your waste.

“Our investigation into this incident at Loch Ness remains ongoing and we strongly urge anyone with information about who might be responsible to come forward.”

The fly tipping was described as 'shocking and scandalous' by the local fishery board. Photo: Highland Council.Highland Council

Director of the fishery board, Brian Shaw told STV News last month: “We were out on the loch doing some filming on the layby which is very popular because there’s a great view of Urquhart Castle.

“We pulled in there and as I looked over the edge – I had never stopped at this layby before – and lo and behold there was about 100 tyres at the bottom of the hill which was pretty shocking.

“I didn’t realise how steep it was, it was almost like looking over the edge of a castle.

“Anybody who is doing this, they must have known recovery was going to be very difficult in a place like that.

“It’s just shocking and scandalous.

“This is a recent dumping – we can tell because the vegetation is flattened and the tyres are lying on top of it.

“We don’t want this to be a long-term problem.”

Anyone who witnesses fly-tipping is asked to report culprits to Police on 101 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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