Call of nature can be an inconvenience in rural parts of Scotland

The closure of public toilets during coronavirus has proven especially problematic for people in rural areas, research has found.

By Neil McGrory, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 22nd June 2020, 3:00 pm
A map showing the density of public toilets across Scotland
A map showing the density of public toilets across Scotland

A researcher at Scotland’s Rural College has now highlighted the number of facilities available across the country.

Data scientist Mike Spencer created an interactive map showing the density of public toilets across Scotland, using geographic information system QGIS in along with data from OpenStreetMap and Ordnance Survey.

The map – found here – shows Edinburgh and Glasgow have the greatest density of public toilets but they are far less common in rural areas, which sometimes puts visitors at loggerheads with residents.

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Mike said: “Access to toilets is important for individual health and well-being and sanitation is recognised by the United Nations as a human right.

“Understanding toilet locations is a step towards estimating adequate provision of sanitation – and if there are enough public toilets both for the resident population and visitors.

“Closing public toilets impacts local areas because visitors will still relieve themselves even if they cannot access facilities.”

Mike recommends checking Mountaineering Scotland’s information about answering a call of nature in the great outdoors, which can be found here.