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Poop on the Trail: Outrage as Hikers Litter Queen Elizabeth’s Scottish Home

The sprawling Balmoral Estate, where Queen Elizabeth II usually spends her summer holiday, is a popular destination for tourists and hikers. Maintaining the property has become a dirty job since public restrooms were shut down due to the coronavirus.

Staff at the Balmoral Estate, the British royal family’s Scottish residence, have called out filthy hikers who have been leaving human waste on the Queen’s land.

The 50,000-acre estate in northern Scotland, which is home to Balmoral Castle, is surrounded by a country park famous for its scenic trekking routes. It reopened last month after Scotland began easing the coronavirus lockdown, but public toilets are kept closed, with tourists relieving themselves on the grounds of the park.

The estate has complained about “increasing quantities of human waste on the estate” and has posted photos of soiled wipes left on its grounds.

“Disappointed to see so many wipes discarded on the Estate today. Next to paths and monuments”, they wrote on Saturday. “Please remember there are no public toilets open for miles around at the moment”.

​Balmoral staff encouraged hikers to defecate at a distance from buildings, walking paths, and water courses to avoid contamination, as well as to use biodegradable toilet paper rather than wipes.

​The estate has also shared a photo of a closed public toilet near Loch Muick, plastered in yellow tape. Staff said that the lavatory became “unsanitary” after people had been breaking in.

Locals vented their disgust online. “I despair at some people’s total disregard for others”, one user said. “These horrible people are filthy and disrespectful”.

Another wrote: “Sorry to all those that have come across the filth and had to deal with it”.

Police have been giving warning notices to people breaking lockdown restrictions at Balmoral and have also been leaving “guidance on essential travel” on visitors’ cars.

Last August, Balmoral staff posted photos of “disgusting” piles of rubbish, including bottles and takeaway boxes, that were left next to a campfire.

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