IT IS HOPED the "thoughtlessness" of people littering at Gartmorn Dam amid easing coronavirus restrictions will remain an isolated case.

Following the first weekend of people being allowed to enjoy a socially distanced picnic outdoors, a Coalsnaughton resident was "dismayed" to find mess strewn across an idyllic spot at the popular Wee County location.

June McAvoy, who discovered the rubbish when out on a walk, told the Advertiser: "My heart just sank; they obviously appreciated nature and nature made them welcome, but then they just show no respect for it and no respect for the people coming after."

She added: "I walked the path in dismay. It was heartbreaking to see the mess left behind by a minority of people.

"And don't blame the youngsters, please. This area was where a small family group which included male and female adults and their young children had enjoyed the sunny day."

It is understood some more environmentally-conscientious locals later gathered the scattered mess – which included a towel, a disposable barbecue and bottles – into a manageable pile.

However, the Advertiser spoke to a number of community councils and groups in the area with no reports of increased littering at beauty spots in Alloa or Tullibody.

People at the nearby Sauchie Community Group remain hopeful it is but a small minority of people ruining it for others.

A spokesperson for the group said: "We hope that this is an isolated case of thoughtlessness on behalf of who dropped and left their litter.

"The Wee County is a beautiful place and we would urge everybody to take note that when you are out and about, whether having a snack or picnic or whatever, please either take your litter home with you or to the nearest bin.

"As the saying goes: bag it, bin it."

On the other end of the spectrum, many have taken it upon themselves to keep streets clean during the lockdown.

For instance, the town's "litter hater" Arron Uytendhal has been tackling the issue head-on with his cart and speaker – as reported in the Advertiser a few weeks ago.

The spokesperson for Sauchie Community Group added: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank the kind-hearted people who each week tidy up public areas, whether it be next to their house or in an open public area.

"If everyone takes more pride in their community we will all benefit from it."

George McColl, secretary of Sauchie and Fishcross Community Council, is asking people to remember that Gartmorn Dam is for everyone to enjoy.

He said: "It's unfortunate that people do not take their litter home and feel that it's acceptable to leave this behind.

"To be clear, it is only a minority of the visitors; however, this minority do spoil the beautiful scenery around the dam for everyone.

"Regular dog walkers have taken it upon themselves to pick up various items of litter whilst taking their daily walk, which is encouraging to see."