The consultation on the proposed ban on wild camping along a section of the east shore of Loch Lomond has entered its final week. The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority says that it has already received over 250 responses to its proposals and is keen for interested people to use the final days until 3 May to have their say. the proposal will see a new byelaw introduced that will ban wild camping along the east side of the Loch between Drymen and Rowardennan. The proposal is being mooted in response to a growing problem of litter and anti-social behaviour along the shore. Anglers and some walkers’ organisations have already come out against the proposal, with others in support because of the limited area concerned and the amount of rubbish and damage found in that area.
The National Park is also looking at a number of measures aimed at improving the visitor experience in the area, one of Scotland’s most popular beauty spots. Over £400K will be invested in east Loch Lomond by the National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage. Plans include improving the car parking at Rowardennan and building a semi-formal camping area at Sallochy along with toilet provision and improvements to the car park. By introducing new byelaws, the National Park Authority hope to reduce anti-social behaviour including vandalism, damage to trees, littering, lighting fires and irresponsible camping.
The loch shore’s closeness to both the water and the road attracts many visitors, often families and friends revisiting places first experienced in childhood. The National Park Authority says that repeated use of the same sites combined with a minority of people damaging trees, littering, lighting fires and irresponsibly camping has led the Park Authority to consider introducing byelaws to control informal camping. The Park Authority says the proposals will not only help safeguard the area for visitors and future generations to enjoy but also make the area liveable again for locals who often end up staying away during the best parts of the summer.
What do you think? The consultation runs until Monday 3 May – further information can be found and comments posted at this link.