Loch of the lowest of the Lowes

A Borders beauty spot has been left in a “terrible state” by day-trippers and campers during the lockdown period.

By Kevin Janiak
Monday, 29th June 2020, 4:12 pm
A call has gone out for day-trippers and campers to take away their rubbish from the St Mary's Loch site after a resident had to tidy this load away last Sunday ... including a yellow bucket that had been used as a toilet.
A call has gone out for day-trippers and campers to take away their rubbish from the St Mary's Loch site after a resident had to tidy this load away last Sunday ... including a yellow bucket that had been used as a toilet.

Resident Karen Moakes, who lives at nearby Riskinhope, has called for people using the St Mary’s Loch and Loch of the Lowes sites to take home their trash, after being forced to pick up after others in the past few weeks.

Last weekend, she filled several bin bags of trash, and even found a yellow bucket which had been used as a toilet and left for someone else to sort out.

She said: “It’s absolutely disgusting. People have been coming here in droves over the last few weeks, but as ever, it’s the few who don’t clear up after themselves who are spoiling it for others.

“Since lockdown started, we’ve had cyclists here every day, who were obviously not bothered about the lockdown restrictions.

“But it’s people who have come down for the day, maybe drank too much and decided to stay in the site overnight who are causing the problems.”

Like all public toilets, the one next to the lochside cafe has been closed since lockdown, and people have been relieving themselves all over the place, said Karen.

She said: “There was one yellow bucket left lying with faeces still in it, and others decided to poo in bushes, leaving it and the toilet roll there ... it’s disgusting.”

To keep the popular beauty spot in the Yarrow Valley beautiful, Karen has taken it upon herself to tidy up behind thoughtless visitors, but she has issued a plea for people to leave the spot as they find it.

She added: “We have been pleading with the council to put in a bin for years, but they are digging their heels in and say they expect people to take stuff home with them.

“Well, they’re not. One morning I spotted something lying next to the lochside and I drove over at speed, hoping it wasn’t someone who had got in trouble in the water.

“It was two bloody lilos.

“It’s just the thoughtlessness of people.

“I think the psychology of it is that the stuff they bring there has a use. But when they eat their food, the packaging doesn’t have a use any longer so they don’t think about it.

“I have bought bin bags myself and have handed them out to people, asking them kindly to take their crap back home.

“It’s worked for some people, but clearly not everybody.”