CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT GREY MARES TAIL

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South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine has written to the National Trust for Scotland, caretakers of the Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve near Moffat.

Her intervention follows reports that the beauty spot is being spoiled by overcrowding, litter and even human excrement.

The NTS manage the site but their regular staff have been on furlough since lockdown and volunteers are still waiting to hear when they’ll be invited back.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said,

“Reports of overcrowding and litter at the Grey Mare’s Tail are of great concern and if there are no rangers or volunteers on duty who will manage visitors or maintain the site?

“I have a responsibility to constituents who have approached me to investigate so I’ve written to the National Trust for Scotland on their behalf. I’ve asked them how they intend to safeguard the site going forward. There are paths and staircases which require maintenance and a need to control the increasing numbers of visitors who have been flocking to the site.

“I know that the NTS are under financial stresses due to a massive drop in visitor income during the pandemic. However, it’s vital we make sure they’re aware of environmental and safety issues at their unmanned sites across the country and that sites like this are at the top of their priority list when they start bringing employees back from furlough.”