I received an interesting email from my local hill-walking club Chairman this week, who had come across a litter problem outside a mobile phone mast site. I have copied the letter below for others to see as well.

Vodafone Installation at Am Meall, Ballachulish, Grid Reference NN096576

Whilst walking in the Glencoe area on Sunday afternoon, 10th. August 2008, my route took me past your installation at an elevation of 414 metres. I was disgusted to find rubbish strewn about outside one of the cabins, amongst which were empty alcohol and pot-noodle containers, and cigarette packets.

The track to the site had signs of recent use by a vehicle. There can be no doubt that your employees or contractors are responsible for the rubbish. Neither local nor visiting yobs stray far above sea-level for drinking sessions. Smokers are not noted for their inclination or lung capacity for the sustained steep ascent to your site without mechanical aid, carrying the equipment, appliance and fuel necessary to prepare pot-noodles. Genuine hillwalkers would find a more pleasant and radiation-free picnic site a few steps away.

I am sure that Vodafone is a reputable company and conforms to strict operating standards, and note from your website that your environmental management system has been accredited to ISO 140001. I would be pleased to learn that you have taken action to clean up this site and prevent such occurrences at all your sites.

Meanwhile I will inform fellow members of the local walking clubs of the matter, and collectively we can assess if the problem is widespread, requiring a demand for action by the local authority.

I am sure Vodafone can not be the only company that has problems like this. When I visited the Isle of Eigg in May I was impressed by the new hydroelectric installations that have been recently installed around the island. I wasn’t impressed by the amount of detritus the electric company and their contractors had left around the newly installed machinery. I just hope that they have tidied up since then, now that the network is operating and has been handed over to the local community.