Investing in Camping Provision


There are already a number of businesses running camping and motorhome/caravan sites in the National Park as well as some informal, low-cost facilities where the National Park has invested in putting in place facilities like toilets, fresh drinking water, camping pitches, picnic areas and car parking.

We want to encourage people to come and enjoy the National Park and when they visit we want there to be a good range of opportunities for them to camp.

Our proposal is that any byelaws that manage where camping can and cannot take place is coordinated with a plan to deliver more managed camping provision within the area.

Our ambition is that the combination of the camping provision that already exists in the National Park and (where there are gaps) our investment in encouraging new camping facilities will provide the right range and number of opportunities to camp in the National Park. This is a long-term plan that requires joint working with:

  • our communities
  • landowners – from both the private, public and third sector
  • local businesses and community enterprises interested in running camping facilities
  • other Scottish Government partner agencies including Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Transport Scotland and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
We have now:
  • scoped out existing camping/caravan provision within the National Park
  • spent time listening to the needs and ambitions of many user groups
  • gathered information from our partners and existing camping providers across the National Park
  • reviewed learning from our investment on east Loch Lomond and at Loch Lubnaig
  • considered the trends in both camping, caravan and motorhome use
  • looked at where the gaps are in each area
The proposal we are consulting on is based on this research and our experience of dealing with camping pressures in the National Park. Looking to the future, we have taken into account the increasing popularity of camping and motorhomes:
  • 470,000 camping trips were taken in Britain in 2011
  • there are 176,000 motorhome owners in the UK
  • research indicates a 23% increase in the number of people interested in buying a motorhome
At present, we estimate that there is formal camping provision for up to 580 tents and 820 touring caravan/motorhome pitches in the National Park. In order to achieve our vision of transforming our lochshores for everyone, we estimate an investment of £10m* is needed over the next five years to deliver a significant increase in provision in the National Park.

Based on our research, our proposals are based on there being four main types of additional opportunities to camp in the National Park, these are:

1.Motorhome/campervan overnight bays

2.Semi-formal camping with capacity for between 5-10 pitches

3.Semi-formal camping with capacity for between 20-40 pitches

4. Seasonal formal campsites delivered in partnership with private landowners

The broad areas within the three proposed Management Zones, where we think there is opportunity for these types of provision, are marked on the map below. It is important to remember that these areas are indicative at this stage. Any facilities would be subject to a full planning application and the necessary assessments that go along with that.

While we will focus our investment in the proposed Management Zones, we are keen to hear from anyone interested in getting involved in providing camping facilities throughout the National Park.

We want to hear from you if:

  • you are a landowner and you are interested in becoming involved in developing new camping facilities
  • you are a business, charitable organisation, individual or part of a community organisation interested in getting involved in setting up or running new camping facilities.

*This figure has been generated based on the experience of the National Park Authority and its partners in undertaking feasibility studies and developing sites across the National Park.


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