Toilets at Ulva Ferry

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Grian
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Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Grian » Wed May 09, 2018 11:08 pm

For anyone heading out from loch tuath area who isn’t aware, there are public toilets at Ulva Ferry.

Most people here would toilet responsibly but there is a growing problem with campers generally using the bridge at laggan to do their business. Unfortunately this has included paddlers. Vehicles are now excluded from the area of grassland beside the bridge.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu May 10, 2018 6:50 am

My first reaction was to say "Aw Pish, how could someone do that?" but on reflection I realise that is not quite biologically correct. I recently saw similar on a beach at low tide, which also revealed oyster cages...

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Grian » Thu May 10, 2018 7:31 am

It’s pish even though it’s no pish.

So close to the house, a watercourse... geeze. Also at the edge of the pool where my nieces play and being impervious to cold, swim. And where we dunk to wash our kit. And a spot a lot of tourists enjoy a wee stroll. This particular sample had originally been larger, but my dog came upon it before me...

Not good near the oysters, our neighbour has a wee farm and testing is rigorous and regular.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Sea Kayak Scotland » Tue May 15, 2018 2:39 pm

Isle of Mull: Car Parking at Ulva Ferry
The SCA Office has received the following email from Iain at Turus Mara regarding parking at the Ulva Ferry on Mull. If you are headed that way, please be considerate and park elsewhere, or contact them in advance to see if it is ok for you to park there. They are happy to advise of alternative parking places.

'We at Turus Mara pay an annual rate for parking at Ulva Ferry on Mull, for the use of our clients on our daily boat trips. The parking is well signposted and also has “no unauthorised parking” notices all along the area.

While we appreciate that some of the kayakers who ignore these signs may not be members of your association, we would ask that you spread the word that we will have no hesitation in blocking vehicles which ignore the signs. While kayakers may be arriving at a time when the space is almost empty, during our operational times, i.e 09.00 to 18.00, we may require up to 50 or more spaces which is the full capacity of our area.

On occasions we have had paddlers leaving their vehicles for days while they camp on the Islands. This is inconsiderate and in future will precipitate some action which will not be good PR for anyone.

Please can kayakers contact us before they visit, and we can let them know if it's ok for them to park. Generally, we cannot tolerate this during the months May to August inclusive. We would prefer to have amicable contact to advise them of the possible alternatives when our parking is closed to them. We do not wish to spoil anyone’s fun!

I should also point out that the policy of the Hebridean Trust for the protection of the wild life and birdlife on the Treshnish Isles is that overnighting on the islands should not be allowed during the breeding season, i.e May to August.'

Iain Morrison
www.turusmara.com
Hon. Warden
Treshnish Isles

Has anyone had problems and or aggressive behaviour from this Iain Morrison recently? Is there still a problem at Ulva ferry with parking by sea kayakers? I'm surprised that the SCA published this without challenging the threatening tone of the email.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Grian » Tue May 15, 2018 3:50 pm

Iain’s tone seems reasonable considering people persist in ignoring clear polite signage. His business requires the full area of hard standing which he rents from my mum.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by MikeB » Tue May 15, 2018 4:22 pm

More to the point, if they are indeed actively discouraging camping as suggested, has the Hebridean Trust been reported to the local access officer yet? SOAC et al.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Grian » Tue May 15, 2018 6:14 pm

It might be worth the SCA contacting MICT (Mull & Iona Community Trust) who have a Local Development Officer currently involved in developing proposals for the ferry area, to highlight the demand for parking for paddlers. Happy to pass on a contact email to SCA if this is helpful, and to individuals if they would like to make similar representations.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Mrstratos61 » Tue May 15, 2018 10:35 pm

Don't see anything threatening in email above.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Sean_soup » Wed May 16, 2018 9:44 am

"On occasions we have had paddlers leaving their vehicles for days while they camp on the Islands. This is inconsiderate and in future will precipitate some action which will not be good PR for anyone."

Probably meant perfectly innocently, but doesn't necessarily read that way. It could be interpreted as a veiled threat: 'I'm going to do something about that - not telling you what, but it won't be very nice."

Perhaps those of us who also paddle on rivers (particularly in England) are more attuned to seeing it that way, as vehicles being vandalised is something often threatened and occasionally carried out by outraged anglers and the like in areas where access is contentious.

Out of interest, what sort of numbers are paddling the Treshnish Isles? And what sort of numbers are visiting on the tourist boats?

I've been thinking about a trip around there at some point, this year maybe, or next. It would have to be during the summer really. And an overnight stop on one or other of the islands would not only be a big attraction but also necessary really to make it an enjoyable journey rather than a feat of endurance.

Do kayakers camping overnight put pressure on the wildlife unduly?
More so than, say, rocking up during the day and disembarking enough people to have arrived at the quayside in "50 or more" vehicles?

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed May 16, 2018 11:03 am

We have two entirely separate new topics in the email, and there may be some confusion about which comments relate to which.

Parking: There's a legitimate objection to parking on private land without permission, particularly if that's obstructing conduct of a business, and if polite requests fail some threats may be necessary. I doubt they will be a bad as the threats from car park management companies who aggressively wheelclamp and issue penalties. The tone of Iain Morrison's email is not unreasonable on this topic.

Treshnish Islands Access: The policy of the Hebridean Trust appears to contradict the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. A blanket exclusion of camping is unlikely to be appropriate. The code says "In a small number of areas and for very specific reasons, such as to protect a rare plant or bird, you might be asked to follow a specific route or not to exercise your access rights". More details are in section 6.6 of the code which is here. This part of the email, is in my view, provocative - although Iain Morrison appear to only passing on the policy of another body.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by JMarkW » Wed May 16, 2018 12:13 pm

Sea Kayak Scotland wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:39 pm


Has anyone had problems and or aggressive behaviour from this Iain Morrison recently? Is there still a problem at Ulva ferry with parking by sea kayakers? I'm surprised that the SCA published this without challenging the threatening tone of the email.
I parked there for a couple of days in September last year. The parking situation isn't great and I was sort of glad I wouldn't be back soon. I called Tauramara who were very happy for me to park in their carpark as it was out of season. So thanks to them.

However, the estate car park had a sign up saying don't leave your car and go kayaking/camping without informing them first. The pesda guide book had obviously been written before taurasmara decided they needed more private parking, there are spaces for about half a dozen vehicles opposite the estate car park though these are had taurausmara mini buses in...

Basically I go the impression only go there if you are day tripping to the island or paying money to a local company (which is sort of fair enough) or using the ferry/going to the pub etc....

If we want to encourage visitors to go kayaking there......

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by JMarkW » Wed May 16, 2018 12:22 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:03 am

Parking: There's a legitimate objection to parking on private land without permission, particularly if that's obstructing conduct of a business, and if polite requests fail some threats may be necessary.
I guess that is kind of true but when the parking is limited and what there was free to other users is now only available to people whom are paying money to a local business (I don't have an issue with this ) and there isn't much alternative....

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by mcgruff » Wed May 16, 2018 1:06 pm

Sean_soup wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 9:44 am
Do kayakers camping overnight put pressure on the wildlife unduly?
More so than, say, rocking up during the day and disembarking enough people to have arrived at the quayside in "50 or more" vehicles?
If visitors numbers really were a problem, I'd definitely be looking at organised boat trips not small numbers of self-powered visitors.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by mcgruff » Wed May 16, 2018 1:14 pm

I'd love to see Ulva's community buy-out grow into the kind of success we've seen on Eigg. Tourism - including sea-kayaking - could be a big part of that so I hope everyone on all sides will work together to solve any problems.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Grian » Wed May 16, 2018 1:53 pm

I’ve been asked for clarification on which area of parking is used by Turus Mara.

It is the long strip of hard standing on the right as you approach the ferry area and clearly signposted along its length, as per the hopefully uploaded sign. The end of the strip nearest the ferry is used by a fisherman.

Public parking is limited in the Ulva ferry area altogether. There is however a large area at Eas Fors waterfall and parking here after unloading, and then shuttling occupants back to the put in spot is perhaps an option for multi car groups.

More public parking seems the only likely long term solution and highlighting demand formally can only help toward that. In the short term hopefully this thread helps readers planning a trip.

On the original topic of toileting - a neighbour found someone going behind the stone boathouse approx 100 metres from the ferry toilets! Elsewhere occupants of a camper van were witnessed emptying their portaloo into a burn. We’ve asked this issue be raised at the community council, highlighting the need for more signposting to make people aware of the location of facilities. There has been an increase in calmac passengers since the advent of lower fares so this is perhaps inevitable.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by MikeB » Wed May 16, 2018 1:56 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 11:03 am

Treshnish Islands Access: The policy of the Hebridean Trust appears to contradict the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. A blanket exclusion of camping is unlikely to be appropriate. The code says "In a small number of areas and for very specific reasons, such as to protect a rare plant or bird, you might be asked to follow a specific route or not to exercise your access rights". More details are in section 6.6 of the code which is here. This part of the email, is in my view, provocative - although Iain Morrison appear to only passing on the policy of another body.
Yes, but as such statements have an unpleasant tendency to be regarded as "fact" once in print or on the web, it's important to ensure that this sort of mis-information is dealt with.

By way of example, RSPB acted in an appropriate manner when it was pointed out that their attempt to stop camping to protect orchids was unlawful. All detailed here, on the Parkwatchscotland blog

Returning to the issue of car-parking, this is always going to be emotive. A quick search of this forum will reveal earlier, similar discussions, and helpful suggestions as to how to mitigate the problem. If this particular car-park is indeed a private one, specifically for the use of one particular business, then that's that. Private is private.

How a business operating a private car park goes about enforcing that is another matter. Certainly suggestions like "and in future will precipitate some action" could of course merely mean a polite note left on a windscreen. Or perhaps a small car-parking charge could be levied. One hopes so, anyway. Other forms of "action" may well of course be construed as criminal damage.

As with all things, co-operation is always good so if the SCA is able to help here in any way, then no doubt they will. Zoe Newsam (who I believe chairs the Access committee, and is an active sea-paddler and coach) told me last year that they are still very interested in supporting sea paddlers in such matters. Getting confirmation of whether the Hebridean Trust really is attempting to stop people camping is easy enough.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by JMarkW » Thu May 17, 2018 11:11 am

Grian wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:53 pm
I’ve been asked for clarification on which area of parking is used by Turus Mara.

It is the long strip of hard standing on the right as you approach the ferry area and clearly signposted along its length, as per the hopefully uploaded sign. The end of the strip nearest the ferry is used by a fisherman.

Public parking is limited in the Ulva ferry area altogether. There is however a large area at Eas Fors waterfall and parking here after unloading, and then shuttling occupants back to the put in spot is perhaps an option for multi car groups.

More public parking seems the only likely long term solution and highlighting demand formally can only help toward that. In the short term hopefully this thread helps readers planning a trip.
I guess my disappointment is that there used to be adequate public parking until the whole lot was acquired by one company (which were very helpful to me out of season but a few weeks earlier would have been different) for there own benefit. Its not a place I'd hurry back to....doing the islands again I'd launch (weather permitting) from Fionnphort.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by john.ruston » Fri May 18, 2018 7:18 am

Wasn't this thread about Pooh - not Parking ??

Striking photo as an opener - subsequently ignored.

Bowel management, Chapter One of being a person. It appears some people skipped that class.

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Re: Toilets at Ulva Ferry

Post by Kevin Cooper » Sat May 19, 2018 9:01 pm

We parked six vehicles in the Ulva Estate car park for 3 days last week whilst camping on Gometra and visiting Staffa and Lunga. We telephoned the estate office as directed by the sign and they weren’t particularly switched onto there being an issue. Apparently the person to ask wasn’t around but we were told it should be okay and we didn’t experience a problem.

Whilst loading the boats we had a pleasant chat with one of the owners of the business who have parking along the road, he enquirer where we were parked and once advised he was happy and confirmed that it would be okay. He did relate the issues they have with cars left parked in their spaces sometimes parallel to the road instead of perpendicular with each vehicle then taking up multiple spaces. So the frustration is still current but with consideration and courtesy can still be workable.

And the area is well worth the visit, great couple of days.

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