STIRLING'S MP is calling for tougher penalties on people who litter.

Representative Alyn Smith has written to Scotland's justice secretary, calling for a maximum penalty of £5,000.

The call comes after 21 people were charged with byelaw offences in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park area recently.

MP Smith said: “Stirling is the beautiful heart of Scotland and everyone is welcome, but play the game, littering and fly tipping is a massive problem and the existing laws are not tough enough.

“What we have seen in the national park area in recent weeks is nothing short of appalling, and a complete disregard for the beauty of our natural surrounding area.

“To see tents left behind, sleeping bags abandoned, general litter strewn across woodland and trees destroyed by fire damage is heartbreaking and is the behaviour of a minority of people that simply should not get away with behaving like this.

“The Stirling area is a beautiful place to visit, and needs to remain that way for everyone.”

The issue was also raised by MSP Bruce Crawford during First Minister's Questions this week.

The MP for Stirling added: “Of course, not everyone who litters should have to face a maximum £5,000 penalty, but the option for tougher fines should be available to address some of the larger scale damage that can be caused by their reckless behaviour.

“Just as a fly-tipper can face a fine of up to £40,000, so too must people who damage our local environment face tough justice.

“My message to people visiting the Stirling area is simple: you’re welcome to visit, we want you to come.

“But, when it comes to litter: if you can bring it, you can take it away with you.”