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Respect Your Park

The National Park has so much to offer – it’s the perfect place to make the most of the outdoors.

With 50% of Scotland’s population living within an hour’s drive, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park attracts millions of visitors every year. Most people do the right thing by treating the Park, and the other people who enjoy it, with respect.

It’s easy to do if you follow our straightforward ‘Respect Your Park’ advice.

Download our 2017 Respect Your Park leaflet.

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Responsible camping

Camping is a great way to enjoy the National Park and there’s a wide choice of places to camp in stunning surroundings. Pitch up at a campsite along an idyllic lochshore or river, or for those who prefer the solitude of ‘wild camping’ away from the hustle and bustle, there are plenty of places to immerse yourself in some of the most spectacular scenery in Scotland.

Whichever way you choose to camp please ensure you do it responsibly and respectfully. Leave nothing but footprints and always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code – a practical guide to help everyone enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

Seasonal byelaws come into effect on 1st March 2017 which affect how and where you can camp in certain areas of the National Park between March and September. You can find out more about camping in the Park here.

Need some inspiration about where to go camping in the National Park?  You can discover your destination here.

Remember to: 

Care for the environment

  • Take your litter home
  • Never cut down or damage trees to make a fire
  • Use a public toilet or bury your waste
  • Dispose of your fishing line responsibly

Respect the interests of other people

  • Is your tent one too many? Avoid over-crowding when camping
  • Keep noise down and lights low after 9pm

Drive safely

  • Be aware of road conditions, stick to the speed limits and park responsibly.

You can also view Wild Camping – A Guide to Good Practice produced by the Mountaineering Scotland.

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Hillwalking

We want everyone to enjoy the National Park in a safe and responsible manner. Be aware that the owners of the land you are crossing might be engaged in deer management and other land management activities and you can help minimise the chance of disturbance. Read more about it in the Heading to the Hills practical guide.

Hiking and hillwalking are risk sports. Always ensure you are prepared before heading out to the hills – information and practical advice on how to stay safe can be found by reading about Safety and skills in the mountains from Mountaineering Scotland.

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority cannot be held responsible for any accidents, injuries or damage sustained whilst hiking in the Park. All persons taking part in such activities do so at their own risk, acknowledging and accepting the risk of accident, injury or damage.

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On the water

You can find advice about to swim safely here and enjoy our lochs on a boat or powered craft here.

Help us keep our loch waters as clean and environmentally sound as possible by exercising care and avoiding spillage when refuelling your boat or jet bike and adding oil to engines.

The abundance of wildlife found in the National Park can only continue to exist if we show consideration to the natural environment.

Please take litter home with you and leave nothing behind on the shoreline or the water of any of the lochs and rivers of the Park.

If you discover pollution or witness an incident, call the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s pollution hotline on 0800 80 70 60. This line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For more information please visit www.sepa.org.uk

When using your craft on Loch Lomond, you must act responsibly, stay safe and understand the Loch Lomond Byelaws.

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Breeding birds

Many species of our winged and feathered friends live in the Park, and although disturbance is not a significant issue for us, it’s worth noting that birds are sensitive during the spring breeding period.

Remember, all wild birds, their nests and eggs are protected by the law (Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981). Damaging, destroying or disturbing nests, birds or eggs is an offence. Schedule 1 species e.g. Golden Eagle, Osprey and Kingfisher, are especially vulnerable and subject to additional protection.

Some common indicators of disturbance include:

  • Alarm calling
  • Visibly agitated birds, sometimes circling the threat
  • Mock or actual dive bombing

A particularly sensitive time is during incubation – if the parent birds are scared off the nest, the eggs can chill quickly and effect embryo development. The period of time when birds are incubating eggs can vary widely depending on location and species.

Ground nesting birds are commonplace in the Park. In general, they are less likely to be disturbed by walkers as they usually build nests away from popular paths. However, the greatest risk comes from dogs running off the lead in areas not normally visited by walkers. Dog owners should keep their animals under close control during nesting season in these areas.

For more information see:

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Farmland and animals

Lambing & Dogs

Hill farming takes place throughout the Park, and every spring new lambs can be seen frolicking in the sunshine enjoying their first taste of life. To a farmer, the lambs represent their livelihood and income – the next generation of ewes and rams. To dogs, the lambs are defenceless ‘prey’ and unfortunately the National Park Authority receives reports every year of sheep being attacked and lambs killed. It is imperative that dogs are kept under close control when livestock is present (especially during lambing). For more information see the Scottish Natural Heritage ‘Dog Walking’ guide.

If you walk your dog in the Park, please take note of any signage at access points and adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC).

Farm animals

Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals. Don’t take your dog into fields where there are lambs, calves or other young farm animals. If you go into a field of farm animals, keep your dog(s) on a short lead or under close control and keep as far as possible from the animals. If cattle react aggressively and move towards you, keep calm, let the dog go and take the shortest, safest route out of the field

Crops

Don’t take your dog into fields of vegetables or fruit unless there is a clear path, such as a core path or right of way, and keep your dog to the path.

Dog Waste

Pick up and remove your dog’s faeces if it defecates in a public place.

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Stalking & field sports

Our iconic glens, hills and mountains such as; Glen Kinglass, Ben Vorlich, Luss Hills and Ben More, provide some big challenges and stunning backdrops for hill walking the Park – we also have a number of traditional estates where deer stalking takes place. Stalking helps manage herd numbers and animal health, contributes to conservation and provides an important income for rural communities.

Usually, there is very little conflict between hill walking and stalking, but occasionally we receive reports of accidental disturbance, and this can have a big impact on the estate.

We encourage all hillwalkers to use the Scottish Natural Heritage ‘Heading to the Scottish Hills’ resource before heading out.

Contact details for the main estates in the National Park can be found here.

Please adhere to any signage at the access points.

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