Fishermen criticised for tenting on personal land at Stewartry magnificence spot

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A group of fishermen have been criticized for camping on private property on the banks of Loch Ken.

Ranger Ken Scott spotted the group at a site previously used by dirty campers.

He discovered the group had gotten there by motorboat – which is prohibited under the Land Reform Act – and also found tents, fires and fishing poles set up.

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And after telling one of the fishermen – who didn’t know the group was doing anything wrong – that they had to go, Mr Scott was shocked to realize “there was a lot more wrong than just the motorized access and the fishing .

He said: “A petrol chainsaw was lying on the ground, with a plastic fuel container nearby and several freshly sawn green logs. There were several live trees with signs of recent chainsaw damage and fresh sawdust underneath.

“There was a homemade crayfish trap at the water’s edge with a fairly fresh dead bait, although I’m told this had nothing to do with the group.

Trees used to be felled with chainsaws

“As I was about to leave, I spotted a Canada goose nesting at the base of a large tree out of the corner of my eye and asked if it was there when they arrived.

“The Lord said it was fine, they fed it bread. It looked petrified, and then I spotted its mate out on the water nearby, paddling around in fast circles, obviously distraught at not being able to guard his mate.

“The smaller of the tents was pitched a few feet from the nest, and a neat pile of metal pegs were inches from it.

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“Several things turned out to be wrong at this site, including motorized access without a permit, fishing without a permit, disturbance of nesting wildlife, the illegal crayfish trap, criminal damage and the destruction of living trees.”

Mr Scott returned to the site the next morning and was “relieved” that the goose was still in its nest and the fishermen left the area “fairly immaculate”.

And when he returned this week with John Cowan, Police Scotland’s Wildlife Crime Officer, it emerged that the geese had suffered no ill effects.