WILD campers are destroying the serenity of a Peeblesshire beauty spot, it has been claimed.

Once, the Meldon hills, in an area of land between the A703 and the A72, were places where picnicking families might enjoy some sunshine in easily accessible wilderness.

But almost every summer stories surface about broken bottles, rubbish burning on fires and litter strewn across the grass.

Last weekend Tweeddale West councillor Drummond Begg was contacted anonymously by a member of the public who sent a picture of what appears to be a discarded gazebo frame with a fire burning in the background.

Mr Begg said: “The Meldons have unfortunately seen an increase in people who choose to burn or dump their rubbish and expect others to clean up after them.

“The Land Reform (Scotland) Act better known as the ‘right to roam’ comes with the responsibility to ‘leave no trace’.

“I wonder if a security camera would help.”

Fellow Tweeddale West councillor Eric Small said: “I think that this is an absolute disgrace to be dumping rubbish in such a picturesque part of the Borders.

“If people want to come and enjoy such a beautiful area they should also be mindful and take their rubbish home with them.”

A police spokesperson said that so far the force had not received any reports from the public but that they would pass on concerns to the Scottish Borders Council-funded Community Action Team.

Tweeddale West councillor Viv Thomson said: “I am all for people seeking the benefits of being outdoors in our beautiful countryside.

“However we all have an obligation to ensure that we leave any space we use as we find it – free from litter and ‘waste’.

“It is disappointing when a minority spoil things for the majority – in this case the enjoyment of the Meldons.”

Mr Begg added: “I will be raising this with our community police team to see what else can be done to tackle the problem.”

The ground at the Meldons is owned by the Wemyss and March Estate. On Tuesday afternoon, a worker at the estate office said: “It would be the factor who would comment but he is on annual leave at the moment.”