Pinders Pond, a popular camping and swimming area in the Teviot Valley, is causing concern for local residents as freedom campers leave their mark.
A Teviot Valley social media page has had several comments posted by valley residents who were disgusted at finding excrement and toilet paper on the ground.
The News visited the Pinders Pond on Saturday and the site had about 15 tent campers, campervans and families who were either camping or there for the day.
One person spoken to said there had been about 30 groups camping the previous night and apart from some family noise, it had been most enjoyable.
Another person said they had been visiting the area for many years but it was only in the past few years it had become so popular.
They had seen toilet paper and excrement on the ground, which they said was “just lazy” as the single toilet on the site was well looked after, and stocked with toilet paper, while another person said they would like to see rubbish bins available.
Another said some people camped right on the beach, which limited access to the water for others.
Former community board member and Roxburgh resident Helen Pinder encouraged people to contact the council direct or the council’s service office at the Roxburgh library to make a complaint.
“If the council doesn’t know there is a problem, they can’t fix it,” she said.
She said there had been rubbish bins at the site in the past, but there were none now, as the cost of emptying them would be added to ratepayers’ rates and the valley was not a big enough community to cover the additional costs.
“Throughout the country Doc policy [for their camping sites] has been ‘if you can take it in, you can take it out’ and I believe there should be similar rules for Pinders Pond.”
Central Otago District Council’s Parks and Recreation manager Mathew Begg, said the council had received two complaints about conditions at Pinders Pond this week, and he visited the site on Monday.
“On visiting, there were several families using the lake for swimming and there was no-one camping near the swimming beach area,” Mr Begg said.
“We will look to try to clearly identify this swimming beach area and inform people not to camp in this well used recreation spot.
“It is unfortunate when people do not respect the areas they are using.”
He said the council was not considering installing a second toilet.
Mr Begg said very little rubbish was seen when the area was inspected.
“Generally people take their rubbish away with them and the few small bits were to be picked up on Tuesday.”