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Cheap tents left as litter in Scotland

Aug. 9, 2009 at 6:29 AM   |   Comments

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Scottish national parks are dealing with camping equipment so inexpensive many visitors simply abandon tents and sleeping bags, rangers said.

Rangers patrolling the "bonnie bonnie banks" of Loch Lomond sometimes need police escorts, The Scotsman reports. They have found many campers become abusive and even threaten violence when told to strike their tents and clear up after themselves.

To make matters worse, some visitors set their tents on fire instead of just walking away.

High-end camping equipment can cost a small fortune. But the supermarket chain Asda now offers a two-person tent for 10 pounds (less than $15), while Tesco, for a little more, has a package that throws in two sleeping bags.

"This is one of the most significant problems we have had to deal with in the last five years due to these incredibly cheap tents," said Bridget Jones, visitor experience manager at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Campers have also been pitching their tents away from established campsites to avoid fees. Jones said the east shore of Loch Lomond, especially, seems to draw young men on weekends.

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