Managing the Negative Impact of Camping

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The most acute pressures occur where lochshores popular for camping are easily accessible from a public road. Most campers in these areas arrive by car and wish to camp near to the road. The problems are caused by a combination of too many people wanting to camp within the same area at the same time and (often in conjunction) selfish and irresponsible behaviour by some campers who spoil it for others and damage the environment.

The new Management Zones we are proposing include:

  • areas where our patrolling data demonstrates significant and entrenched negative impacts from camping
  • some areas which may not have the most acute problems now, but where we anticipate that localised
    displacement of camping could occur because of our proposed management measures
  • some road corridors where we think it makes sense to link zones to assist with public understanding of where Management Zones start and finish

The proposed zones are focused on lochshore areas which are publically accessible by vehicles. As well
as the land between a road and lochshore, boundaries have been drawn at a distance of approximately
200 metres from the public road and where possible follow visible features such as field boundaries or tracks.
Lochshores with no public roads have not been included in zones.

Some of the proposed camping management areas are very close to the National Park boundary at
Loch Long and Loch Earn. The Park Authority is working together with neighbouring councils to monitor
and manage any visitor pressures outside the National Park.

Our proposals are based on a desire to encourage people to come and visit the National Park whether they choose to camp or not.

Under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000, the National Park Authority has byelaw-making powers.
Byelaws provide a way to keep camping at a manageable and sustainable level and deal with behaviour
that is damaging to the National Park, that can affect residents or that discourages others from visiting.

These byelaws are flexible enough to allow us to provide local solutions to meet local needs within each
of the identified Management Zones and provide for sustainable levels of camping. They have been
drafted taking into account the levels of use and the extent of the issues found on the National Park’s
most pressured lochshores and in the surrounding areas. They also have to work alongside regulations
and laws that are already in place.

What is a byelaw?

Byelaws are special laws that some organisations, such as National Park Authorities, can make and then use to tackle particular problems. Under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority can create byelaws to help manage and protect the environment or areas that suffer from lots of recreational use or to address issues of safety.

Byelaws can then be enforced by the organisation, so for the National Park Authority we can give powers to our rangers, as well as the police.

Byelaws work alongside other criminal laws which are enforceable by the police. Byelaws are an additional way of helping manage significant problems in specific areas.

The final decision on the introduction of any new byelaws is made by Scottish Ministers.

What impact will the proposed byelaws have?

The byelaws we are proposing deal with three key issues:

  1. Encouraging responsible behaviour by making it an offence to cause damage to the area and/or the wildlife within it by littering, fires or irresponsible behaviour
  2. Regulating when and where you can camp within the zones
  3. Managing how laybys are used to prevent all-summer encampments

The byelaws will also:

  • create demand for the planned network of managed camping areas and sites by restricting
    unmanaged lochshore camping within the zones
  • allow for camping permits to support sustainable levels of use on some lochshores within the
    zones
  • offer opportunities for small scale basic or serviced provision to allow short overnight stays for campervans and motorhomes within the zones

Our byelaw proposals :

  • Will not restrict other access rights within the zones – in fact, we firmly believe that they will encourage people to access the areas previously blighted by issues that discourages many visitors from coming to these lochshores
  • Will not restrict true wild camping outside the zones – over 95% of the National Park’s area is still available for true wild camping
  • Do not incorporate the Loch Lomond islands – we will continue to patrol the islands and monitor levels of use and impacts
  • Will not deliver the vision in isolation – they form a crucial part of our Visitor Experience Mix alongside education and providing facilities for visitors.

 

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