VISITORS have taken matters into their own hands to clear litter dumped at a Tweeddale beauty spot.

Over the past few months, piles of rubbish have accumulated at Thornielee – the home of Muckle Mouthed Meg.

And to resolve the problem, one fed-up walker, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, took to the site with a roll of bin bags.

Gill Harvey was in the area last week visiting her father, Robert, who lives in Clovenfords.

She told us: “I used to come to Thornielee all the time when I was younger, so when I came up for a pre-Christmas visit I thought I would take my dog for a walk.

“When we got there, I was disgusted to see litter all over. 

“Energy drink bottles, cans, dirty nappies, dog poo and all the usual rubbish such as McDonald’s wrappers – it made my blood boil.

“Someone had even dumped recycling bags of glass bottles. I do a lot of litter picking in Stockport and I had some bags and litter pickers in the back of my car, so I got stuck into it.

“My dad, who is 82 and partially-sighted, came out and we managed to fill a total of seven bags over two hours.”

Fellow Clovenfords resident Hilde Paxton got in touch with the Peeblesshire News this week to say she had raised the issue with Forest Enterprise Scotland, which oversees the site.

Ms Paxton said: “I have lived in Clovenfords for 20 years and as a dog owner have been walking around Thornielee for many years.

“I have never seen the area look as bad as this before. 

“People need to put their rubbish in a bin.

“The place is promoted as a beauty spot, but nobody will use the picnic area is there is rubbish around it and it’s virtually impossible for people with limited mobility.

“I have tried to get this resolved but my complaints have fallen on deaf ears.”

The site is home to an eight-feet tall statue of Muckle Mouthed Meg – infamous for her marriage to William Scott in 1611.

And over the past few years it has become a popular area with mountain-bikers.

A Forest Enterprise Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received a complaint about rubbish at the site and we will follow this up quickly and make a thorough inspection of Thornielee. If there is still any rubbish there we will tidy it all up.

“We would like to thank the person who called in to alert us and especially for all their friends who took time and care to clear up too – very much appreciated.

“Forest Enterprise Scotland invests heavily in providing top class recreation facilities and expects all visitors who come to enjoy the great outdoors to act responsibly and take home their rubbish and clean up after their dogs. 

“It is really unfortunate that some visitors chose not to respect the environment.”