Visitors to popular East Lothian beach couldn't spend a penny because of blocked loos

Beach-goers were left crossing their legs at the weekend after the toilets had to be closed because of blockages.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 12:30 pm

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Public toilets at Yellowcraig, East Lothian became blocked as people ignored the rules and flushed wipes down the loos.

By mid-morning on Saturday countryside rangers had closed the toilets and took to social media to urge people to visit neighbouring beaches and coastal spots to seek relief.

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No where to relieve themselves: Campers pictured at Yellowcraig. Image: East Lothian Council

East Lothian is seeing record numbers of visitors to its beaches this summer and nearly doubled its team of rangers to help monitor issues at the sites.

For the second weekend running more than 200 parking fines were issued at the beach car parks.

At Yellowcraig the toilets remain closed as contractors are being brought in to unblock the system which operates with a septic tank.

There was angry reaction to the news the toilets had been closed with some people on social media reporting people urinating in the car park and emptying chemical toilets from campervans down open drains.

The number of rangers patrolling East Lothian’s countryside has been almost doubled to help police tackle an expected record number of visitors this summer.

The county’s coastal destinations saw more visitors than ever before last summer, and the trend has continued in recent weeks as crowds flocked to the beach to enjoy the sunshine.

Now eight additional rangers have been temporarily added to the East Lothian Countryside Rangers service, amid concern over the impact of tourists on communities and local beauty spots.

While wild camping is allowed on the county’s beaches, it requires people to ‘leave no trace’ – which means no litter, digging up vegetation or land and using stoves rather than open fires where possible.

People should also avoid setting up camp in areas that are already busy – ruling out most of the county’s packed beaches.

Despite this, last weekend saw hundreds of people fined with 216 penalty notices issued and, at one point, nearly 150 tents counted at a single beach.

East Lothian Countryside Rangers service was the first to be established in Scotland and has been overseeing the county’s coastline since the 1970s.

One local resident said: “It’s not just tourists that are restricted, it’s locals as well. We have had enough of this, this is literally spoiling summer for families.”

East Lothian Council said that the issues at the toilets had been caused by people failing to dispose of wipes properly.

A spokesperson said: “The toilets at Yellowcraig were closed on Saturday mid-morning due to a high volume of wipes which had blocked the sewage system.

“Contractors are currently in attendance undertaking the remedial work and we hope to reopen soon.

“Due to its rural location the system operates on a septic tank so it is especially important that wipes and other unsuitable materials are not put down toilets.

“There have been extensive national campaigns by Scottish Water and others highlighting that wipes should not be flushed and we would ask all users to follow this essential guidance.”

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