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Dig It

What to do when you need to poo

outdoor toileting

Human waste left behind by visitors has been a growing problem at beauty spots across Scotland as the popularity of informal and wild camping rises. With more visitors expected this year than ever before, we want to make sure human poo doesn't spoil your view.

To address this unpleasant topic, the Council will be running the "Dig It" campaign to encourage responsible outdoor toileting, and raising awareness of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code so we can all enjoy our landscapes responsibly.

The campaign should not be viewed as a solution for large groups or vehicle based campers as this could get very unpleasant and bad for the environment.

Dig It Kits

As part of the campaign, the Council will be trialling "Dig It Kits" on the south side of Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch. The kit, which will be handed out for free by our patrolling staff and volunteers, consists of a metal trowel and paper bags with instructions on "what to do when you need to poo".

Campers are asked to plan before they visit and use public toilets, comfort schemes or established campsites wherever possible. If, however, campers are too far from publicly available toilets, or don't think they will make it to one, they will be encouraged to bury their poo and bag up toilet paper, wipes or sanitary items to be binned.

In line with the Outdoor Access Code, all visitors should leave no trace behind

Be prepared - know what to do

If you are planning a trip where you will be some distance from toilet facilities, be prepared and know what to do before you go.

  • Pack a trowel as an essential piece of your kit.
  • If you need to poo, you must find a suitable spot. This should be at least 30m from water, buildings, animals or other people.  
  • Dig a 15cm (6") hole and do your thing.
  • Bury your poo. Bag up any toilet paper, wipes or sanitary products for putting in a bin.

What to do when you're unable to Dig It

If you find the ground is too hard to dig, or that you cannot maintain a safe distance from water, buildings, animals or other people, you can use the "carry out" method of disposal. For this, you need to:

  • Pack bags for lifting your poo (dog poo bags will do) and a sealable container.
  • When you have done your business, pick it up using your poo bag. 
  • Place the bagged poo in to your sealed container (placing an unused tea bag in it can help absorb the smell).
  • Carry the container out with you and place in the bin when you get home.

More information on informal and wild camping

Visit our informal and wild camping pages for tips on ensuring you enjoy Perth and Kinross countryside responsibly. 

Last modified on 07 June 2021

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