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National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.


Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:22 pm

With further lock down easing now only hours away, the vague guidelines are no longer an excuse and the hills are open............or are they?
Some of the custodians of the great outdoors are acting very irresponsibly. Loch Lomond and Trossachs NP are keeping their car parks blocked off with no timeline to open them. Surely this will force more people into fewer areas. They have hid behind the 5 mile advice for as long as they could but now it has gone they still dont want visitors.

The info for the status of Cairngorms NP and Forestry car parks is sketchy at best, with none of the info easy to find.

Mountaineering Scotland is going to make some sort of announcement tomorrow, which is a bit late and most likely will be the usual soundbites.

Probably a blessing the weather for this weekend is going to keep the numbers down, but those venturing out have very limited info on car parks and toilets and may have to change plans at the last minute which can cause problems with safety and overcrowding especially when the weather improves.

The outdoor community is being badly let down and unfortunately have no strong voice to represent them. :twisted:
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Coop » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:52 pm

This came out I believe yesterday from "Loch lomond and the trossachs" its on their website.

The provisional timeline is:

3rd July:

All car parks openToilets in key visitor areas open where possible (including some temporary provision)

11th July

Further toilets openingDuncan Mills Memorial Slipway reopens for launching and retrieval

17th July

National Park campsites at Loch Chon and Loch Achray open.

A decision is to be made this week , based on Scottish Government guidance,  on when to open the National Park’s Camping Permit Areas which allow for camping within areas of the National Park designated as Camping Management Zones between March and September each year.
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby iain_atkinson_1986 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:01 pm

Achnashellach was closed on Saturday. I emailed F&L Scotland and they didn't know when they'd be opening car parks. If I were travelling up from the Central Belt I'd have a plan B, C and D. Laybys are probably a better shout than forestry car parks for the time being.
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:45 pm

Cheers coop - good and encouraging info. It wasnt clear to me from their website but now found the link.

This is the bit I read. :roll:
20200702_194342.jpg
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:53 pm

iain_atkinson_1986 wrote:Achnashellach was closed on Saturday. I emailed F&L Scotland and they didn't know when they'd be opening car parks. If I were travelling up from the Central Belt I'd have a plan B, C and D. Laybys are probably a better shout than forestry car parks for the time being.

Cheers Iain. It's bad news the forestry haven't been able to come up with a plan to open their car parks. They have had 3 months to think about it.

Anyone got any info from Cairngorms NP. :?
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby iain_atkinson_1986 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:19 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:
iain_atkinson_1986 wrote:Achnashellach was closed on Saturday. I emailed F&L Scotland and they didn't know when they'd be opening car parks. If I were travelling up from the Central Belt I'd have a plan B, C and D. Laybys are probably a better shout than forestry car parks for the time being.

Cheers Iain. It's bad news the forestry haven't been able to come up with a plan to open their car parks. They have had 3 months to think about it.

Anyone got any info from Cairngorms NP. :?


No, but given the weather looks dismal this weekend I MIGHT take a jaunt down to the CGs and Glen Feshie to see the script is.

I'd also like to know whether parking meters will be converted to contactless card payment as my old system of "break a tenner by getting a bacon role and coffee before reaching Aviemore so I have coins for the machines" seems excessive.
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Sunset tripper » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:40 am

Cairngorm NP have updated their website this morning 8 hours after the 5 mile travel advice was removed. Most car parks are open across the NP. They now have a list of car parks and the Ski car park Coire Cas & Coire na ciste are closed. The other car parks status all say waiting information.
In reality on the Aviemore side I think all the forestry car parks are open or accessible at least. Coire na ciste and Coire Cas are blocked off with log barriers though the usual spaces are available on the road near the entrance.

I've no idea why the NP is so late and sparse with their info especially when the excuse for the last few weeks has been the danger of the corona.
There is no excuse now for the main access car park to be blocked off now that the government has decided it is safe to remove the 5 mile advice. The NP has given no reason why these car parks are being kept closed.
Also there is no excuse for the information being so poor.

It would be reasonable to think the National Park knew before this morning exactly what car parks would open and what others would be closed.
The 3rd of july is well underway and there is still little clarity from them.

Ironically the coronavirus information and advice page on the Cairngorm NP website says plan ahead and check websites. :roll:
Last edited by Sunset tripper on Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby gaffr » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:41 am

Hello, using the off road bike from the Wildlife Park entrance (open here) ......moor of Feshie, Loch an Eilein, Morlich not much happening around here. Forestry Cafe looked open ...did not check it out, my usual stop at the wee cafe/shop not open. A few bikers around but nothing much up till then apart from elderly walkers. A rattle down the Loggers track to Aviemore then a return to my starting point on the Speyside Way section to Kincraig...Cafe not open in the village. Using the new cycle track beside the dualled A9 return to starting point. Pleasant afternoon ....not so this morning.
Glen Feshie parking has been open all the way through the crisis possibly on account of no gates here to lock like the one at the Allt Ruadh.
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby RocksRock » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:05 am

From what I saw on a webpage a few days ago and I can't remember if it was Forestry or John Muir Trust etc: the issue is that with all the staff off and locked down for three months, the routine safety checks on trees, gates, stiles etc round car parks have not been done. Now the staff are back everything needs to be checcked and any problems remediated and then they will re-open. One would hope that each will be re-opened as soon as it is checked and safe............If they also feel the need to check all paths etc under their jurisdiction, then who knows how loing...............
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Sunset tripper » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:14 pm

iain_atkinson_1986 wrote:Achnashellach was closed on Saturday. I emailed F&L Scotland and they didn't know when they'd be opening car parks. If I were travelling up from the Central Belt I'd have a plan B, C and D. Laybys are probably a better shout than forestry car parks for the time being.

I guess many in the organisation are just not sure what the plan is. There has been an update today on their website. A long list of car parks in alphabetical order. You need to find out the official name of the car park you wish to use, then go through the list. The end of road car park for Glen Affric (I believe) is called River Affric and its now showing as open. :D
Ps Achnashellach also showing as open now.
https://forestryandland.gov.scot/covid-19/openings-and-closures
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Ian Johnston » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:01 am

Thanks for that link Sunset Tripper,

I have to agree with the consensus view that FLS and other bodies have had plenty of time to think about this. I don't really accept that all their staff have been locked down until yesterday - there's been plenty of noise criticising the amount of bog roll etc left around so ranger services have been out and functioning.

Leaving car parks closed is likely to create, not mitigate issues of roadside parking - then probably we'll see patronising comments from the same bodies about responsibility.

I live in rural Aberdeenshire - FLS closed what car parks they could very quickly (staff not on lockdown, obviously) but couldn't close them all as some don't have gates or would be simple to block off. So, if you knew where to go you could (for instance) park for a walk at Bennachie - and yes, it's well within 5 miles of my house.

Unfortunately it seems that there will be a big effort required to get back access - I hope that Mountaineering Scotland and Ramblers Scotland start getting vociferous about this - the outdoor community has in general complied with the restrictions up until now.

Heading up to Tomintoul for a wander up the Ailnack today, I'll post here what I find regarding car parks and anypublic toilet provision, though I'm not optimistic on the latter, Aberdeenshire Council say they are "waiting for Government guidance"

Kind Regards

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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Ian Johnston » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:11 am

Just to add to my last post, these links may be useful if visiting the Cairngorms area:

https://cairngorms.co.uk/working-together/car-parks/

https://cairngorms.co.uk/working-together/public-toilets/

Kind Regards

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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Ian Johnston » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:30 pm

The car parks around Tomintoul seemed all open, and i understand that the public toilets in the village are as well (but didn't actually check that).

Queen's View quiet in the morning but all spaces taken (approx 8 cars) when we got back late afternoon.

Kind Regards

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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby prog99 » Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:27 pm

I only saw one Forestry Commission car park shut this weekend in D&G(probably becauseit had a visitor centre & mountain biking). Everything else seemed very much open with no off putting signs.
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Re: National Park and Forestry car parks fiasco.

Postby Sunset tripper » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:13 am

prog99 wrote:I only saw one Forestry Commission car park shut this weekend in D&G(probably becauseit had a visitor centre & mountain biking). Everything else seemed very much open with no off putting signs.


Yes well done that most of the forestry car parks are open, there was no reason to keep them shut. There was a real lack of info regarding opening up which was unfortunate when the big message was plan ahead.
A shame that the main cairngorm car park (not forestry) is blocked off and few fighting the cause. With overcrowding being a concern for the government it makes sense to have a big car park like that open and spread folk out. :roll:
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