With the increased numbers of visitors to the area, the Community Council is aware of the widespread concern about sanitation, particularly with regard to campervans and campers. We have made this concern very clear to the NC500 organisers and the Highland Council.
As part of this, we have been asked when the Torridon campsite and toilets will re-open. These facilities are part of Highlife Highland (HLH) which is the charitable arm of the Highland Council. They are managed as a leisure facility/accommodation provider out of Gairloch Leisure Centre.
Technically speaking therefore, the toilets are not ‘public toilets’ as when HLH was formed, the campsite and toilet block were transferred from the Council to HLH.
The campsite is currently run on a honesty box/donations basis so people are not required to check in and it is not possible to control how many people camp.
In response to questions about re-opening, HLH says, “Torridon campsite is under regular review but at the moment we do not have a date for re-opening”.
Whilst we do not have any further official information, it is perhaps worth noting the following:
many other caravan/camping sites in the area are not taking tents, principally to reduce access to their shared toilets and shower blocks. This is to ensure social distancing and maintain high levels of cleanliness. These are sites which are fully staffed, so for an unstaffed site such as Torridon the challenges are even greater
the Torridon facilities are not just toilets, they are designed to enable people to wash dishes, take showers and brush teeth etc. Therefore they require considerably more cleaning than a straightforward toilet block
there is currently one person employed to clean the Torridon facilities, and there is no-one to clean them on his days off
we are aware that some people are choosing to camp at the site anyway. We understand this is discouraged, but given how many people are camping by the roadside, it potentially makes little difference - the same concerns about sanitation apply regardless of where people camp.