News / May 2011 Newsletter

Local Fundraising

This Saturday 14th we will hold a Soup n Sandwich Day and also teas and Home baking in the Morar & Mallaig Community Centre between 11 - 3. Bring your neighbour, grandchildren and friends, everyone welcome!

Lottery

We will be starting a 200 Club shortly. This could bring in a steady stream of income when lots of people join! Prizes with 60-80 members: one of £25 and two of £10 each month, £100 at Christmas and £100 on Games Day. With more members the prizes would be higher.

Members will pay £2 per month for each share and can either pay £2 per month by direct debit or standing order, or £24 per annum in advance by direct debit, standing order, cheque or cash to Audrey MacEachen, tel. 462592.

Tougal Beach

The issues surrounding the Car Park and Beach need to be addressed urgently. We have had meetings with the landowner at Rhubana and with our local police (sergeant MacRae) and had lengthy discussions about how to solve these issues.

  1. Too many campers on the beach
  2. Litter left on beaches, in woods and car park
  3. Human waste
  4. Sheep and cattle worrying
  5. Aggressive behaviour
  6. Using toilet facilities for washing dishes and clothes
  7. Using toilet facilities to barbecue when raining
  8. Dog fouling by both visitors and local dogs
  9. Theft of private wood from nearby sheds
  10. Cutting down of trees and fence posts by campers
  11. Forcing doors of toilet block
  12. Too many cars parked by the roadside

Point 1

Law on Wild Camping
This law is open to abuse as it is too vague. It is a code of behaviour rather than a law that can be enforced. In Scotland anyone can camp for one or two nights on any piece of land, even when it is fenced off. The police have no power to act if someone stays longer.

Breach of Peace
Again this is a vague concept and open to interpretation. According to sergeant MacRae it means a situation of serious disturbance when people are actually in danger. He feels the police cannot act if someone is just shouting.

Points 2-8

The same applies. There are no clear laws on these issues and the police are unable to arrest someone for leaving litter unless members of the public are in actual danger.

Points 9-11

These would be criminal offences and the police can act as long as these offences are reported and the offenders known or still on the spot.

Bylaw Prohibiting Camping
If the community wanted a bylaw instated to prohibit camping and making fires we would need to approach Highland Council. A specific area would be named for which this bylaw was instated. However, it would also mean that no local person could be camping in this area.

Point 12

The campers that are causing trouble are the ones looking for FREE CAMPING and having a party. Apparently this type of person has no respect for rules and code of behaviour. They are not interested in preserving the beautiful surroundings. They just want to eat and drink and have a good time. And they want to park as close to the beach as possible because they can’t be bothered walking too far. If we could decrease the number of cars parked, there would be fewer campers to cause problems.

Suggestion: To deter them from coming to this spot we should make it as hard as possible to find a parking place. It should be CLEARLY VISIBLE to anyone coming here that parking is very limited and that they could get fined if parked in the wrong place.

This is where the police do have the power to act!

In order to bring this about the sergeant suggested the following:

Of course this means that local people and day visitors would also have limited access to the beach. An option would be to PROHIBIT PARKING BETWEEN 8PM AND 8 AM. This would give people access during the day and might deter campers.

Also, A GATE OR BARRIER could be placed and would have to be locked at night and opened in the morning. Anyone who would be staying overnight in the car park could be reported to the police and in that case be paying a fine.

WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THESE OPTIONS! PLEASE LET US KNOW YOUR COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS so that we can make a decision as a community. Contact any of the directors and please respond by 15th June.

Flower display for “MORAR IN BLOOM”

We would like to brighten up our village with flowers! There are several people willing to help and look after a flower tub. It will probably be easier to look after a tub than a basket, as they need watering every day. The plastic tubs would be too light so we are looking into concrete tubs. However, these will cost around £50 each.

DOES ANYONE HAVE SLEEPERS WE COULD USE TO MAKE OUR OWN “TUB”? If we get permission from the Road Dept we would like to install one at each junction for Morar and a few in the village. We are also looking into kinds of plants and flowers that would not get eaten by the sheep!

Get Involved

Would you like to be involved in improving your environment and quality of life in your community? New members are always welcome, please get in touch!