Crackdown on illegal camping called for by south-west Parish Councils

caravansunsetThe Association of Parishes Councils in the Southwest Alentejo and the Costa Vicentina Natural Park have met to come up with a plan to combat wild camping and caravanning in their areas.
The association says it is to reinforce its commitment and willingness to collaborate with all the official bodies that are meant to be solving the current situation of widespread illegal activities.

The association urged the powers that be, for “the rapid conclusion of work on this matter and therefore change the legal framework in force for this activity."
There has been a huge rise in caravanning and camping in ​​the Natural Park of the Southwest Alentejo and Costa Vicentina, leading to a total lack of control last year.
Caravans and vans have been parking along the cliffs, tents have been pitched in the sand dunes and parking area for beach users have been turned into caravan car parks.
Occupants of the illegally parked vehicles have been defecating in nearby scrubland, litter has ended up strewn across one of the region’s most beautiful countryside areas and the remains of fires indicate illegal activity during the summer season.
The association, "has alerted the authorities to the lack of control in recent years, with no apparent solutions, which is why we reinforce our concerns and demands with those responsible."
Recently, the Town Councils of Porto Covo, Vila Nova de Milfontes, Odeceixe, Bordeira and Sagres, the Municipal Assemblies of Aljezur and Vila do Bispo have taken positions that aim above all, "for the regulation and diligence of the competent authorities to solve this problem."
Since 2016, the Association of Alentejo and Algarve Campsites has tried work with the authorities on proposals for improvements in the regulation of the activity, but "without conclusions or progress to resolve a problem that is likely to worsen and which is potentially a source of conflict in areas of greater pressure."
The association warns that it is "indispensable" to have a more effective policing, especially in sensitive areas such as the Natural Park, and it is necessary to provide the authority for inspectors to act effectively and to have rapid change to the law to allow the authorities to impose on the spot fines.

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0 #10 BrunoG 2019-05-07 07:25
Learn from other countries where caravanning and campervans are popular. We toured New Zealand with a campervan for a month. Around many villages and towns you will see a zone post with a sign saying this is the limit of the zone where you cannot have an overnight stay with your vehicle anywhere. Splendid apps lead you to free spots, or unexpensive spots with toilets and of course full service campings. Furthermore dumping sites for black water and grey water are provided. The fines are huge if you dump elsewhere. Furthermore, because of the noise, the use of generators is forbidden there. So, it is possible without huge investments to clear up this mess, while giving the choice to spend your holiday in a camper if you wish so.
+2 #9 Ray Shepherd 2019-05-05 13:44
I think the reason the GNR do not fine them is because they are not committing a motoring fineable on the spot offence. As I understand it they can issue a summons but with no fixed address that doesn't work either. Rapid change in law needed. I wonder what the GNR would make of someone dumping rubbish or having a s888t behind a lamp post in Lisbon. Whats the difference ?
+5 #8 Tbr 2019-05-04 19:34
The problem will only be solved by on the spot fines.
More camp sites will not deter the large numbers who think that even a few euros a night is too much to pay.
Fine any found camping in car parks. Scrubland etc.
+1 #7 AL 2019-05-04 10:20
Quoting charly:
Hi AL: what's the Berlin conference ?

Ask Harrison! He's an expert on that matter.
+5 #6 Chip 2019-05-04 10:19
Quoting charly:
Hi AL: what's the Berlin conference ?

According to Harrison it took place in 1884-85. I didn't realise there was a problem with camper vans in the 1800s.
There is a definite problem now - go up from Zavial beach to walk on the cliffs and you will pass piles of excrement and soiled toilet paper. Disgusting!
+7 #5 sealgarve 2019-05-04 10:02
...not living in that area, but in the Golden Triangle on a beach which is also very loved by campers/caravanas. I do not mind if they stay there for one or two nights, but they stay there for WEEKS!! Not talking about tents and the small campervans have NO toiletts, so where do they go???
There are times where over the cliff close to my home are 50 (!!) campers are parked!! As I said, not one or two nights, minimum 2 weeks!! And the camping side is just 100m direct line!
not talking about all the ones that park everywhere in the town in the summer for weeks!!
And they only bring money to the local supermarkets and if you are lucky to the local cafe shops and newspaper agents, not more as they got their "kitchen / living room" with them.
Sorry, but I am not a great friend of fines, but here I am begging the state for a solution and a harsh fining system to stop the long-term campers!
0 #4 charly 2019-05-04 08:20
Hi AL: what's the Berlin conference ?
+9 #3 AL 2019-05-03 15:26
Quoting charly:
Always the same stupid story: make suffisant and adequat camping sides and the problem is solved ! Unfortunately in Portugal police prefers "money-money-money". Nature and tourism are secundary ietms in this matter.

People that camp in the wild do it because they prefer to have a crap behind a bush rather go to one of many camp sites available. Yet another distorted opinion where everything is simple and Portugal is backward and stupid, like Mr Pink map Harrison below with another off topic comment reminding us for the 100th time of the Berlin conference.
Pity there are no wild bears in Alentejo, it would have solved the problem of illegal camping.
-6 #2 charly 2019-05-03 08:29
Always the same stupid story: make suffisant and adequat camping sides and the problem is solved ! Unfortunately in Portugal police prefers "money-money-money". Nature and tourism are secundary ietms in this matter.
-6 #1 Harrison 2019-05-03 06:23
It is such a loss to the EU that Portugal joined with only one intent - to frustrate the EU's aims to develop and grow all it's members economies. Blame the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference as the more productive EU members today are exactly those that did such damage to Portugal's opinion of itself back then around 140 years ago. So we have all wasted the last 30 years in severe limitations to licensing non-Portuguese / non-Greco-Roman Effective Occupation.
Many of the north European 'travellers' are individuals - they want distance between themselves and other motorhomers and caravaners and not park amongst dozens of others. Travel round any developed northern EU country and the landowner / farmers are encouraged by the tourism bodies to open their un-planted fields to small numbers of campers and caravaners. Particularly in the summer months as a secondary income. In Portugal imaginative linkages between cultural and historical tourist attractions, local shops and the landowner / farmer would - along with targeted tourism to different EU nationalities - help lock in more money locally. As it is in Portugal so many motorhomers / caravaners are seen as a problem - not a solution to desertification. Who just stock up in the local LIDL - perhaps grab a meal then move on as they are unwanted. So little money stays local, which is the underlying complaint and spite of these political's! Showing the usual Portuguese Racismo and lack of imagination.

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