A SUSTAINABLE fashion firm has called on Scotland to be a country that does "the right thing" after encountering plastic masks and gloves at a cultural sight.

Prickly Thistle was visiting Clootie Well on the Black Isle, near Inverness, when they encountered the non-biodegradable items left at the sight.

Clootie Wells were places of pilgrimage in Celtic culture where strips of cloth or rags are left as part of a healing ritual. A "clootie" or "cloot" describes a piece of cloth or fabric in Scots.

READ MORE: Artist's plea to Highland tourists after 'shocking behaviour' in Arisaig

As more Scots are now travelling around Scotland this year due to travel restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, areas of interest like the Munlochy Clootie Well have become more popular.

Prickly Thistle wrote on Twitter: "We were doing some [photographing] tonight at Clootie Well on the Black Isle, A Scottish place of cultural superstition about the healing wish of fabrics to cure the sick.

"It was so sad to see plastic masks/gloves on such a sacred sight people ignoring the signs, it was like landfill..."

The sustainable fashion firm based in the Highlands then called on Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch which includes the Black Isle, to help in making sure Scotland "can be the country that does the right thing".

Despite a sign telling visitors to only leave "small, biodegradable offerings at the well" plastic gloves, face masks and other non-biodegradable items can be seen scattered around the cultural site.

Iain Gulland, of Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS), said: “Littered face coverings are a needless recent blight on our open spaces. Reusable coverings are the preferred method of keeping people safe as they protect our health and also protect the environment.

"Having a face covering that can be used time and again uses fewer materials and is less likely to be discarded so easily.”

READ MORE: Janey Godley fronts litter campaign protecting Scottish beauty spots

A campaign was launched last November to encourage Scots to reuse face coverings as they have become an essential part of daily life.

The partnership between ZWS, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Marine Conservation Society came after results of the Great British Beach Clean revealed Covid-related litter was found on almost a quarter (23.5%) of Scottish beaches.

ZWS said that around 30% of Scots use single-use masks as they have become necessary due to the coronavirus and want to encourage people to get into a routine with reusable face coverings.