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The great trails clean-up

Press Release   •   Jun 21, 2013 00:00 BST

The independent charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, is leading a national assault on litter along Scotland’s Great Trails, as part of co-ordinated action on the longest day of the year. The action is a key part of Clean Up Scotland - a mass-engagement campaign run by the Keep Scotland Beautiful charity to remove litter and mess and prepare our country for its place in the international spotlight in 2014.

The Great Trail clean-up is backed by SNH, Visit Scotland, Cycling Scotland, Paths for All, Sustrans, Scottish Canals and the great trail managers.

Many litter picks are taking place during the 24 hour period starting noon today (Friday), with more planned following the longest day. The charity is providing back-up and support to volunteers who are stepping forward to take action on each of Scotland’s 26 Great Trails. New volunteers can register to take part on the charity’s website

Examples of confirmed clean-ups are:

  • Hillside School, Aberdour, and Floral Action Burntisland will be cleaning up sections of the Fife Coastal Path;
  • Keep Bonnybridge Bonny will be litter picking on the Forth Clyde Canal towpath; and
  • Keep Scotland Beautiful staff will be joining Glasgow Community Safety Services on a section of the Clyde Walkway.

There will also be litter picking activity in conjunction with other key events on the following Great Trails: Berwickshire Coastal Path, Borders Abbey Way, Cateran Trail, Dava Way, Great Glen Canoe Trail, John Muir Way, Kintyre Way, Rob Roy Way, St Cuthbert’s Way, West Highland Way, and the West Island Way.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:

“Scotland’s Great Trails are amongst the jewels in the crown of Scotland’s tourism industry, yet we all know that they could be even better if they were less affected by litter and mess. In this, the Year of Natural Scotland, there is no better time for our footpaths to look their very best, and our marathon litter pick will make a real and tangible difference.

“As usual, we have been supported by some fantastic volunteers who have stepped forward, determined to be part of this exciting initiative.  But everyone can play their part, and Keep Scotland Beautiful is calling everyone - walkers, canoeists, cyclists and runners - using the routes on the longest day to not only ‘carry it in, carry it out’ but to go one step further and pick up a piece of litter and take it home or bin it appropriately.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

“Scotland’s natural environment is the number one reason why people visit Scotland, so it’s particularly apt that in the Year of Natural Scotland that Keep Scotland Beautiful should mount the Clean Up Scotland campaign.

“I hope that the valuable work of the volunteers on Scotland’s Great Trails will inspire even more people to be proud of our natural landscapes especially as we prepare to welcome the world in 2014.”

Notes to Editors:

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. 
  • The organisation has three key roles:
  1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
  2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
  3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to 
  • The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy. 
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to 
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
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