The water environment of the National Park is diverse, including:
- 22 larger lochs (covering 6.5% of the Park area)
- Numerous smaller lochs and lochans
- Approximately 50 rivers and large burns
- 39 miles of Argyll coastline incorporating three sea lochs
Maintaining the Park’s high quality water environment is important for many reasons including natural heritage, recreation, drinking water, hydroelectricity generation, transport, tourism and economic development.
Most water bodies in the Park meet the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's (SEPA's) “good” status and we work with a wide range of partners to ensure that a high quality water environment is maintained. Management objectives for water bodies have been set by SEPA and are included in four River Basin Area Management Plans covering the Clyde, Forth, Tay and Argyll & Lochaber catchments. Further information about the plans is available on SEPA’s website.
The National Park is working with partners to help SEPA manage the water environment and achieve water body objectives. Some examples of our work are:
- Managing recreation on and around water bodies through Byelaws on Loch Lomond and codes of conduct (download the codes of conduct by clicking on the images on the right)
- Education on conserving and protecting natural heritage
- Contributing to national policy on water management
- Working with communities on projects to protect and enhance the water environment
- Working with partners to undertake research on the water environment to contribute to the environmental baseline of the Park
We also work with a wide range of interest groups on different aspects of managing the water environment. These include:
- Angling through the Loch Lomond Fish and Fisheries Forum
- Boating, recreation and tourism through a wide range of user groups, Community Council involvement, the RYA and recently the Loch Lomond Stakeholders Group
- Commercial boating interests
- Conservation through Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs
- Ensuring safety and enforcement of Byelaws through links with Strathclyde and Central Police and the Luss Rescue Boat
- Diffuse pollution and land management issues through riparian owners
Current National Initiatives on Water:
Rural Diffuse pollution – SEPA is leading a national programme on addressing rural sources of pollution to waterways. More information on the public awareness campaign and priority catchments is available on SEPA’s website.
Restoration Funding Sources:
Funding is available from SEPA’s Water Environment Restoration Fund for water restoration projects. Further information is available from SEPA's website.
Funding is available for economic, environmental and social measures from Scotland’s Rural Development Programme (SRDP). Further information is available from Scottish Government's website.
Olivia Burns, Water Environment Adviser
Tel: 01389 722611