A farmer is urging families not to travel to fields to go sledging, after members of the public left broken sledges and ignored social distancing rules during recent snowfall.
Smashed plastic sledges as well as discarded mittens, bottles of alcohol and fast food rubbish were found in Straiton, Ayrshire following heavy snowfall.
Villagers are living in fear after “hundreds or thousands” of people broke lockdown rules to drive to the isolated spot to play in the snow.
Farmer Ross Paton, 24, said: “We have had hundreds and thousands of people coming into the village since it snowed, from all over – one field which is not very big is ideal for sledging.
‘It is a problem farmers are having all over the country – it is a working farm, people are touching the gate all the time and we are having to use it, and picking up rubbish.’Farmer Ross Paton
“It is a problem farmers are having all over the country – it is a working farm, people are touching the gate all the time and we are having to use it, and picking up rubbish.
“There are hills and big lochs which are really nice to see in the snow, but people are going to the lochs and turning back because it is so busy.
“There are a lot of elderly people in the village, and people shielding, and they are trying to stay inside but people are coming here and doing what they want.
“People have been swearing at us and giving us abuse for telling them to put their dogs on leads.
“There’s not many people living in the area and people are coming from more than ten miles away.
“My gran and grandad have lived here 70 years and they said they have never seen it so busy – you could easily mistake it for a country fair.
“We have an agricultural show in the village and it’s never as busy as this.
“With more snow, the pandemic continuing and lambing approaching it is worrying.
“It is not isolated to Straiton and the snow forecast may not reach us.
“The primary school kids are making signs asking people to stay away.
“We have been picking up Greggs and McDonald’s wrappers and the closest is 30 minutes away.
“Plastic doesn’t disintegrate, its an open hill and can be eaten by livestock.
“The biggest concern for us is if this is going to be the new normal with increased tourism and lack of respect and education for the environment and countryside.
“If people could stick to the rules for three weeks the numbers would go down.”