Threat to close Mossyard after yobs’ night out

John McConchie at a cleaned-up Mossyard beach
John McConchie at a cleaned-up Mossyard beach

One of the most popular beaches in Galloway may be shut to the public in future after anti-social behaviour by a group of youngsters last weekend enraged the landowner.

John McConchie, whose family own Mossyard, between Creetown and Gatehouse, told The Galloway Gazette that a repeat of seeing the stunning beach strewn with broken bottles and rubbish will force him to put a gate on the access road to keep the public out.

Mr McConchie said: “There were about 15 of them got off the bus on Friday night and made their way down to the beach with bags and tents. I spoke to them and told them they couldn’t camp out overnight. They said that was okay as they were staying at Auchenlarie, about a mile along the coast. I then asked them when they were leaving and they told me they would be gone by 10.30 and they had taxis booked to take them.

“I took what they told me at face value but when I went back down first thing on Saturday morning they were all still there and the beach was a mess, with tents, sock, bottles, broken glass and more general rubbish lying around. I threatened to call the police unless they cleared it up and they promised they would. But when I returned later they had just gone and the rubbish was left. I then had to start and clean it all up myself. I can’t abide people getting drunk and then just wandering off.

“But I caught up with them as they were waiting for the bus and handed them the bags of rubbish telling them they’d better take it all home with them or I would close the beach in future.

“We own the land and we enjoy seeing families using the beach, but I can’t allow families to go down to a beach strewn with broken glass.

“We have no obligation to allow people access to Mossyard and if there is any repeat of this we will put a gate on.”

Mossyard has been in the McConchie family for five generation and, as well as running the farm, John also runs a caravan park and self-catering cottages on the site. The family have always allowed public access to their private beach as it’s seclusion, golden sands and spectacular views across the Solway Firth have made it one of the most attractive and frequently visited beaches in Galloway.