Following the announcement by the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Dr Aileen McLeod MSP to approve byelaws banning camping from parts of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Jess Dolan, Director of Ramblers Scotland said “This is a sad day for everyone who holds Scottish access rights dear. The national park itself has admitted that most of the anti-social problems arising from some camping activities are caused by a lack of infrastructure and enforcement of existing legislation. Therefore we are disappointed that the Minister has decided to approve byelaws, albeit with a short delay before they come into effect.
“We are aware of very strong feelings on this matter from our members, visitors to the park and others enjoying outdoor recreation in Scotland”, continued Jess. “The vast majority of people who camp in the park and across Scotland are doing so responsibly and they will now be penalised by this byelaw. We don't condone anti-social behaviour and believe that there is existing legislation which should be properly implemented to tackle any problems arising from any anti-social behaviour in the park.
“It’s important to ensure all visitors to our countryside understand their rights and also their responsibilities in terms of camping, whether in a tent on top of a mountain or by the side of a road in a campervan. We are therefore calling upon both of our national parks, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish government, local communities and recreation bodies to work together to devise a national strategy to promote these messages and stop the blight of litter and anti-social behaviour which has led us to this situation.
“We do not want to see any more byelaws restricting access in Scotland and will be working to ensure that these byelaws are not renewed in three years’ time when they come up for review.”
Read more on the byelaws announcement here.