East Loch Lomond Case Study

Case Study: Focus on East Loch Lomond

East Loch Lomond is an area of the National Park that had suffered for decades from the negative impact of large numbers of people flocking to the area on sunny days.

This small stretch of Loch Lomond, through which the West Highland Way passes and within easy reach of Scotland’s central belt had been blighted by years of entrenched antisocial behaviour caused by large groups arriving by car, descending on the area’s beaches, setting up camps and creating a nuisance for other visitors and for those who lived in the area. info_antisocial

This often alcohol-fuelled antisocial and criminal behaviour included:

  • vandalism and damage to visitor sites and facilities
  • excessive noise from large groups of people during the hours of darkness
  • cutting down live trees for firewood
  • uncontrolled fires and the damage they leave behind leaving human waste along our beaches
  • littering and abandoning entire campsites when they left
  • communities and local businesses left feeling vulnerable and unsafe
Land recovery at Lochan Maoil Dhuinne 2011

Land recovery at Lochan Maoil Dhuinne 2011

 

Land recovery at Lochan Maoil Dhuinne 2014

Community and Economy

The community, other visitors, the National Park’s natural environment and its economy were all suffering. In 2011, following a public consultation and with the support of the community, Police Scotland and the Forestry Commission, we worked together to:

  • introduce a set of byelaws that regulated camping in the area
  • ensure a range of informal managed camping opportunities were in place
  • take a coordinated approach to ranger and police patrolling in the area through the Operation Ironworks initiative
  • continue our support of the focused Respect the Park campaign to promote responsible behaviour in the outdoor
  • improve signage and enforcement of the clearway order to manage dangerous parking
At the same time Stirling Council introduced an alcohol byelaw to make it an offence to be found drinking alcohol outside.

The result?

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Three years on and the area has since been transformed. We have submitted a report to the Scottish Government that summarises the success:

  • 81% reduction in antisocial behaviour crimes and only one report to the Procurator Fiscal during the three years the byelaws have been in place*
  • Business is flourishing now that families and a broader range of visitors are coming to the area
  • Community feedback is positive with local residents feeling safe to enjoy living in this beautiful part of the National Park
  • The regeneration of the environment at popular lochshore sites is visible for all to see and enjoy
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*East Loch Lomond Camping Byelaws 2011, Three Year Report for Ministers 2014.