Big Tree Customers have some Great Stories to Tell...
At this time of year, we get loads of enquiries from folk who are not sure where they can ‘camp wild’ with a Big Tree Campervan. A campervan trip is a great way to explore the vast, rich and varied natural beauty of Scotland, and whilst there are a few sites which stay open all year round (check out the Scottish Camping website which you can access through our Links Page) there are also lots of fantasticopportunities to “camp wild” with your Big Tree Campervan – you’ll never find an approved list of all these places, as that would direct too many folk to the same spot and ruin it very quickly.
So, as the season starts to ramp up, it’s timely to remind folk about the great advice we give our Big Tree Campervan customers when they ask the question: “Where can I wild camp?”
A couple of years ago we teamed up with a few other campervan rental companies, and also folk such as Scottish Natural Heritage and Visit Scotland to produce these simple, commonsense guidelines about camping wild with campervans in Scotland.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll hopefully enjoy “camping wild” on your Big Tree Campervan trip, and help support a sustainable way of experiencing Scotland. That way, we’ll all be able enjoy the freedom ofof camping wild for many years to come.
Access Rights Scotland is rightly proud of its access rights; however when you’re looking for places to ‘camp wild’ in a campervan or motorhome, it is important to bear in mind the following key points:
- Scottish access rights and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code don’t apply to motor vehicles.
- The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that you can drive a vehicle up to 15 yards off a public road for the purposes of parking, but this does not confer any right to park the vehicle. Most un-metalled roads, unfenced land and beaches are private property, and you don’t have the right to park unless it’s authorised by the landowner by verbal agreement or signage.
- In practice, informal off-road parking takes place in many parts of rural Scotland, often in well-established places, without causing undue concern.
- Some communities (eg Calgary Bay on Mull, and the whole island of Tiree) have established their own guidance for campervans and the use of designated overnight parking spaces… if you’re in such a place, follow the guidance!
Common Sense Guidance – Do:
- Use common sense and think whether the spot you have found is suitable for a vehicle.
- Think about the cumulative effect of camping in the ‘fantastic secret place which I’m sure no-one else has ever been’… it is very likely that others will use the same spot, not just you!
- Take great care to avoid the fragile ground/sensitive habitats, (eg wild flowers rich machair on the Western Isles) – never drive down to beaches or onto grass verges as it destroys the habitat.
- Avoid over-crowding. If another vehicle is parked in a secluded spot, try not to park right next to them and find your own spot elsewhere.
- Use only biodegradable detergents and drain kitchen waste water tanks in campsites at designated areas. If it has to be emptied in the wild, keep away from watercourses and be aware that animals will be attracted to the scent.
- Carry a trowel to bury any human waste and urinate well away from open water, rivers and burns. Toilet paper should be bagged and taken away with you – not buried (animals dig it up).
- Do a full ‘litter-pick’ before you leave, taking all your rubbish, and any you found there already, and disposing of it properly when you’re back in ‘civilisation.’
- Support a sustainable tourism industry – buy groceries in local shops.
Common Sense Guidance – Don’t:
- Park in areas where signs state ‘No overnight parking’
- Park overnight within sight of people’s houses, even in car park bays.
- Block access tracks to estates and fields.
- Light BBQs or fires unless it is safe to do so, and you can supervise it properly. They should be fully extinguished when finished and no evidence left behind.
- Empty any chemical toilet waste anywhere other than at a designated chemical waste area. The majority of campsites have facilities for emptying a cassette toilet. Most public toilets are not suitable places to empty chemical toilet, as it upsets the sewage treatment process.
At Big Tree Campervans we’re really proud of the fact that supporting a sustainable and fun way of experiencing Scotland is at the heart of what we do.