News Release: Your Park consultation closes with a flurry of debate

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13 January 2015

The consultation by Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park on proposals to address over-use and antisocial camping along the National Park’s busiest lochshores has closed with more than 350 official responses received.

The proposals were for a suite of measures at west Loch Lomond and the wider Trossachs lochs comprising:

• A projected £10m public/private sector investment in camping facilities over the next five years;
• New byelaws, which make it an offence to cause damage to the natural environment and/or wildlife in the Park; regulate where visitors can camp and manage how laybys are used;
• Continued working with Police Scotland to enforce existing and the proposed new legislation;
• Continued education on respect for the National Park with a focus on how to camp responsibly

This is in addition to the existing, successful management zone at east Loch Lomond. The three zones combined amount to less than 5% of the National Park.

Gordon Watson, the newly appointed CEO of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority.

Gordon Watson, the newly appointed CEO of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority.

Gordon Watson, Director of Operations at Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority, who takes over as Chief Executive Officer next week said

“The debate on the Your Park consultation has shown that there are strongly held views on all sides. The proposals we’ve consulted on, which cover less than 5% of the Park and include significant investment in more camping facilities, are designed to promote more access in some of the busiest countryside in Scotland where over four million people visit each year.

“The byelaws proposed use powers already available under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 and are designed to deliver the spirit of land reform access rights, by dealing with no-go areas and halting environmental damage caused by irresponsible camping and antisocial behaviour.

“The dramatic improvements seen on east Loch Lomond showcase how byelaws can be used to enhance access and enjoyment. The area has been transformed; with families flocking back to a place previously blighted by behaviours that were very far from the responsible ‘wild camping’ envisaged in the Land Reform Act.

“We welcomed the debate during the consultation, and will now carefully consider all the points made before making a recommendation to our Board on our final proposals which will be submitted to our Minister.”

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Since the consultation began, the consultation website www.thisisyourpark.org.uk received over 6,000 visits from almost 5,000 users.

In addition to canvassing opinion on the proposed byelaws, the National Park took the opportunity to ask for people’s views on proposed additional camping provision. There were more than 200 responses to this part of the consultation.

There have been a high number of responses in the last few days, so no detailed analysis is currently available.

Park officials will now consider each response, weighting up the quality and validity of the points made and deciding what changes need to be made to the proposals. A recommendation will then be made to the National Park’s Board who, in turn, will advise Scottish Government.

– ENDS –

Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority.
For further information or interviews with Gordon Watson please contact;

Kelly Paterson
T: 0141 333 9585 M: 07882 152 914
E: Kelly.Paterson@bigpartnership.co.uk

OR
Nancy McLardie, PR and Media Manager, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park on 01389 722016 or 07834 334108.

Notes to editors:

• The figure of 81% reduction in antisocial behaviour crimes in east Loch Lomond (quoted in the original ‘Your Park’ launch release and in blogs at www.thisisyourpark.org.uk) comes from Central Scotland Police Operation Ironworks evaluation report 2009-2012. Analysis is for ‘Drymen beat’, which includes east Loch Lomond.
• Full details of the consultation are available at www.thisisyourpark.org.uk
• Details on the next steps can be found in the blog What Happens Next
• Pictures of some of the evidence of damage that has been collected is available at www.flickr.com/thisisyourpark
• Dedicated social media pages have been set up at:

• The National Park stretches for more than 720 square miles and features the largest stretch of inland water in Britain, Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park was formed in 2002 and outlines four key aims in its National Partnership Plan 2012 – 2017:

  • To conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area;
  • To promote sustainable use of the area’s natural resources;
  • To promote understanding and enjoyment – including enjoyment in the form of recreation – of the special qualities of the area;
  • To promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities

 

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