A NEW management scheme to stop illegal camping, anti-social behaviour and inappropriate parking at Silver Sands is paying off.

That's the view of the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust who have responded to greater demand at the Aberdour beauty spot by increasing staff levels and adopting a different approach.

Last summer local residents said they were sick fed up of cleaning up after selfish holidaymakers and the final straw was finding wild campers had "defecated" on the beach.

The trust's CEO, Jeremy Harris, told councillors the early indications are the changes are making a difference.

He said: "In recent years, Silver Sands has experienced far greater footfall that has presented significant challenges around inappropriate parking, dirty camping and anti-social behaviour.

"We now have a member of staff in attendance everyday (April to October) who is the first point of contact for members of the public and they maintain the public toilets, empty bins, deliver litter picks and deal with other relevant issues as and when required, such as parking, minor facility repairs etc."

Dunfermline Press: Tents pitched at Aberdour Silver Sands last summer. Tents pitched at Aberdour Silver Sands last summer. (Image: Fife Coast and Countryside Trust / Robbie Blyth.)

He continued: "When I first came on board around four years ago motorhome numbers were increasing significantly and causing problems, particularly around how our coastal car parks were managed.

"The problems at that point related to health and safety, issues like the cramming of 35 or more motorhomes into very small spaces."

Mr Harris' report added: "This year we have co-ordinated the improved provision of parking management through the installation of signage, designated parking bays and through education and engagement.

"This has noticeably improved challenges associated with over parking of motorhomes but has not yet fully resolved the issue.

"Inappropriate wild camping has also greatly reduced thanks to the introduction of parking rules, improved signage and the increase in trust staff presence and engagement."

Fife Council have long been aware of problems at Silver Sands with littering, illegal camping and motorhomes parking there overnight driving locals to distraction.

Last year safer communities team manager Tricia Spacey said they were stepping up their patrols and told the Press: "The behaviour of some of the people is totally unacceptable. Residents should not be subjected to this."

In a report to the South and West Fife area committee last week, Mr Harris said the trust co-ordinate the beach lifeguard cover at Silver Sands and have helped set up a local coast watch group to monitor this part of the Forth.

They have also, with help of funding from the council, ensured the public toilets are open all hours and installed an outdoor changing facility to accommodate the "significant" increase in open water swimming.

Committee convener, Councillor David Barratt, said: "A huge amount of effort has been going on at Silver Sands in the last few months.

"I've been frustrated by the lack of progress in previous years and I think the trust really did step up and address that.

"To be perfectly honest I think the council's economic development team should have been doing a lot more.

"I think it's made a big difference. Whether that's down to the lack of good weather we've had or the new management only time will tell."