The freshwater lochs and rivers of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park contribute greatly to the scenic quality of the area and form an integral part of its special qualities.There are 22 larger lochs, numerous smaller lochs and lochans, and approximately 50 rivers and larger burns with many more smaller burns. The larger lochs occupy an estimated 6.5% of the Park area.The freshwaters of the National Park are a valuable economic, recreational and environmental resource.
The sea lochs found in Argyll add a distinct ecosystem to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The Park boundary extends to the low water mark on these salt-water lochs, leaving the marine element below low water outside the National Park. The Park therefore includes a total of 39 miles of coastline around three sea lochs, Loch Long, Loch Goil and the Holy Loch.
Farmland is a highly significant part of the natural heritage of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and provides much of its wildlife habitat, landscape interest, recreational and sporting resource. Farming is the major land use in the National Park, with registered agricultural land accounting for around 55% of the area, compared with 28% for forestry and woodland.
Within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park there is a wealth of woodland and forest types that, in addition to timber value, represents a major scenic, recreational and habitat resource. On first impressions many of the woodlands within the National Park look like they have existed for many hundreds of years, however, very few are natural in origin, and all bear the effects of land management dating back many centuries.
The upland areas of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park fall into three broad categories: at the highest level lies the ‘montane zone’ of high mountain habitat where no trees can grow and even plants like heather are ground-hugging due to the fierce winds and inhospitable climate. Below this is the ‘sub-montane’ zone dominated by heather and alpine grasses.