Staff at the Balmoral Estate, the British royal family’s Scottish residence, have called out filthy hikers who have been leaving human waste on the Queen’s land.
The 50,000-acre estate in northern Scotland, which is home to Balmoral Castle, is surrounded by a country park famous for its scenic trekking routes. It reopened last month after Scotland began easing the coronavirus lockdown, but public toilets are kept closed, with tourists relieving themselves on the grounds of the park.
The estate has complained about “increasing quantities of human waste on the estate” and has posted photos of soiled wipes left on its grounds.
“Disappointed to see so many wipes discarded on the Estate today. Next to paths and monuments”, they wrote on Saturday. “Please remember there are no public toilets open for miles around at the moment”.
Disappointed to see so many wipes discarded on the Estate today. Next to paths and monuments. Please remember there are no public toilets open for miles around at the moment. pic.twitter.com/QRXixXWZRL— balmoralcastle.com (@Balmoral_Castle) June 27, 2020
Balmoral staff encouraged hikers to defecate at a distance from buildings, walking paths, and water courses to avoid contamination, as well as to use biodegradable toilet paper rather than wipes.
Whilst toilets are closed. If you need to pee, please do so at least 30 metres from lochs or streams. If you need to defecate, do so as far away as possible from buildings, paths, water courses and farm animals. Bury faeces in a shallow hole and replace the turf. pic.twitter.com/K4EfGGuAFf— balmoralcastle.com (@Balmoral_Castle) June 28, 2020
The estate has also shared a photo of a closed public toilet near Loch Muick, plastered in yellow tape. Staff said that the lavatory became “unsanitary” after people had been breaking in.
Locals vented their disgust online. “I despair at some people’s total disregard for others”, one user said. “These horrible people are filthy and disrespectful”.
Another wrote: “Sorry to all those that have come across the filth and had to deal with it”.
Police have been giving warning notices to people breaking lockdown restrictions at Balmoral and have also been leaving “guidance on essential travel” on visitors’ cars.
Last August, Balmoral staff posted photos of “disgusting” piles of rubbish, including bottles and takeaway boxes, that were left next to a campfire.