NC500 visitors – more than 30,000 a year pre-Covid – flock to marvel at the vast skies and landscapes of Caithness, but in that fragile county, businesses are still in shock at the proposed July 15 opening, says local councillor Struan Mackie.
“A lot of people had written the season off and are now on the back foot,” he said.
“I’ve asked the Scottish Government to implement a complete ban on wild camping.
“You’ve no idea who the campers are, where they’ve been and what facilities they’ve used, which means that track and trace is useless.”
Mr Mackie has also asked the Scottish Government to promote strongly the need for visitors to book ahead – a view echoed by tourism body SkyeConnect.