Humorous short films tackle Cairngorms' 'dirty campers'

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Kirk Watson and Scott Fleming filming in CairngormsImage source, Kirk Watson
Image caption,
Kirk Watson, left, and Scott Fleming filming one of the short films

A filmmaker has made a series of shorts to highlight problems with littering, outdoor toileting and "dirty camping" in the Cairngorms.

Aviemore-based Kirk Watson was shocked by the amount of rubbish and human waste left by some visitors to the area this summer.

His short films follow a character called Barry whose irresponsible actions cause public health risks.

While the films are humorous, Mr Watson said they tackled serious issues.

The shorts were shot in locations at and around Loch Morlich, near Aviemore. The loch was a tourist hotspot over the summer and the site of some of the anti-social behaviour seen in the Cairngorms National Park.

Campfires caused damage to trees, other trees were cut down for making fires and there was littering and human waste. Dirty camping, abandoned campsites with tents and rubbish left behind, was another issue.

Image source, Pentlands Regional Park
Image caption,
The term dirty camping is used to describe abandoned, litter-filled unofficial campsites
Image source, Scott Fleming
Image caption,
Scott Fleming came across this visitor who had driven on to the beach at Loch Morlich and pitched a tent

Earlier this month, the Cairngorms National Park Authority's ranger service said a small number of the park's many visitors were behind the problems.

Mr Watson said: "I've never seen the scale of problems like this ever. A lot of locals had stopped going to Loch Morlich because it made them so angry it stopped them enjoying it.

"I know that most campers are good and it is only a small percentage that spoil it for others and themselves if they return.

"Some of the scars will be there for years now, especially where trees have been cut down."

Image source, CNPA
Image caption,
Loch Morlich was a visitor hotspot over the summer

Mr Watson, who is originally from Torphins in Aberdeenshire, has shot scenes for movies, worked on TV documentaries and done filming for ITV This Morning, the Global Cycling Network and BBC Scotland.

He made the Don't Be Like Barry films in his free time and has posted them to Facebook and YouTube.

Barry is played by Scott Fleming, an owner of the Pine Marten Bar and Scran at Glenmore near Loch Morlich.

Just a few days before making the first of the shorts, Mr Fleming had filled nine bin bags with rubbish from the loch's beach during an evening walk.

Image source, Kirk Watson
Image caption,
Mr Watson hopes the humorous films spread serious messages

Filming was done in about an hour during Mr Fleming's breaks from his job.

In the films, Barry manages to start a major wildfire - created by Mr Watson using CGI - and leaves rubbish and other waste at beauty spots. The series so far has had more than 210,000 views.

The two men encountered real litter and damage while making the films and picked up rubbish and discarded disposable barbecues.

Mr Watson said: "We came across many poos in the woods and picked up whole bin bags of rubbish.

"Interesting someone had gone to the trouble of filling their bin bag but then just leaving it for someone else to take away."