THE first in a series of information events to promote ‘Camping in the Park’ at Buchanan Memorial Hall in Milton of Buchanan gave locals the chance to learn more about the new camping byelaws which come into force next week (1 March).
Camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the National Park whether in a campsite along an idyllic lochshore or river, or for those who prefer the solitude of ‘wild camping’ away from the hustle and bustle.
The new camping byelaws will affect those wanting to camp in some lochshore locations in the National Park, whether they are staying in a tent, motorhome, campervan or caravan.
These seasonal byelaws come into effect on the 1 March and they will cover camping and firelighting in four designated Camping Management Zones.
Their purpose is to protect some of the most fragile loch shores within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, and will help manage camping in some of the busiest areas of the Park from March to September each year. It is also to prevent the irresponsible behaviours that affect some of our communities.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, says: “Camping is one of the best ways for people to experience the beautiful and unique environment of the National Park and we want that to continue.
“At the start of this process we listened to feedback from local communities and businesses who had concerns about the impact antisocial camping had on the area. We are confident that the combination of seasonal byelaws and camping provision balances the need to protect these precious locations and encourage responsible behaviour whilst still providing a great experience for campers and other visitors.
“We will continue to work closely with communities, and local businesses in particular, to make everyone coming to these areas is aware of how the byelaws work and ensure their success.
“Over the course of this first season of the byelaws being in place we will be closely monitoring how the camping byelaws are working and gathering as much feedback as possible to help us improve how we provide for camping in the Park over the next few years. Alongside the views of wider stakeholders, a key part of that will be listening to those who live and work within the Camping Management Zones.”
The Camping Management Zones will be in place from March to September covering less than 4% of the National Park area. Camping across the entire Park from October to February is unaffected.
Camping will be possible within the Camping Management Zones in permit areas and campsites. In addition to the many campsites already within the National Park, the byelaws will create 300 new low cost camping spaces.
The cost of camping permits within the permit areas will be £3 per tent or motorhome/campervan per night. The National Park’s informal campsites in the Zones will cost £7 per adult per night, with under 16s free. Costs at private campsites vary.
Leaflets and maps highlighting how and where to camp in the National Park are available at these drop-in events.
Anyone coming to camp in the National Park between March and September is being urged to plan and book ahead.