A number of campsites were setup at a Highland Perthshire beauty spot by COVID rule flouters over the weekend.

And many of those visitors who travelled to the shores of Loch Tummel on Saturday were fined by the police for breaking regulations.

At least five different sites were set up along the banks of the loch, to the dismay of nearby residents.

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Police officers received complaints that the tourists were ignoring the stay-at-home message and that the groups exceeded the current permitted outdoor meeting limit.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “We were made aware of a number of people camping near Loch Tummel in Perthshire around 7.10pm on Saturday.

“Officers attended and engaged with the group encouraging them to disperse. A number of Fixed Penalty Notices were issued for breaches of coronavirus legislation.

“People should not leave their homes unless for essential purposes.

“The vast majority of people are complying with the legal restrictions on outdoor gatherings to prevent coronavirus from spreading.

“The chief constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives.”

The incident will cause concern for locals as the loch, as well as other Perthshire beauty spots, were blighted by dirty campers and dumping throughout last summer.

Local businesswoman Jennifer Macintyre regularly assists local volunteers and community greenspace wardens to take down abandoned camp sites near her home in Foss.

Rubbish dumped at Loch Tummel last summer

Last September, she led 11 others on a five-hour litter pick, collecting around 300kg of rubbish in black sacks and dismantled fire pits.

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Bags of white powder, canisters, tents were left trashed and some trees were even chopped down.

More than 100 beer bottles were also left at the site on the south shore of Loch Tummel and the ground was scorched by a campfire, with plastic bottles strewn around following a party.

In order to combat the issue in the coming months, a promise has been made by Perth and Kinross Council to provide a ranger service with more patrols from Police Scotland also promised.

PKC also sent out letters last month to residents and hospitality operators in anti-social behaviour troublespots like Glenlyon, Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel, seeking volunteers to keep an eye on staycationers and campers this summer.

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