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Camping and Motorhome Byelaw Q&As

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is a stunning place to camp or stay with a motorhome or campervan. Whether it’s 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 there is something for everyone.

On 1st March 2017 new byelaws were introduced to manage the environmental impact of camping on some of the busiest lochshores in the National Park. These byelaws affect those wanting to stay on and around some lochshores during the summer season in the National Park, whether they are in a tent, motorhome, campervan or caravan.

These Q&As explain how to continue enjoying camping in the National Park.

1. Why have the camping byelaws been introduced?
2. What do the camping byelaws cover?
3. How do the camping byelaws work?
4. When do the byelaws apply?
5. How and where can I camp in a Camping Management Zone?
6. Can I still camp and ‘wild camp’ in the National Park?
7. Where are the Your Park campsites?
8. What will Your Park campsites be like?
9. How do the camping permits work?
10. What are permit areas with services?
11. Where can I go in Camping Management Zones with a motorhome or campervan?
12. How much do camping and motorhome permits cost?
13. What area is covered by these camping byelaws?
14. Will these camping byelaws affect me?
15. Can organised groups camp in the Camping Management Zones?
16. What are the penalties for not complying with the byelaws?
17. Can landowners, businesses or communities get involved in providing new camping facilities?

  1. Why have the camping byelaws been introduced?

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is visited by over 4 million people every year. The byelaws are needed because the sheer number of visitors to some of our most easily accessible lochshore areas, combined with damage from antisocial behaviour, is causing significant damage to both the environment and to the local communities whose local economies rely heavily on tourism.

The byelaws were approved by Scottish Ministers in January 2016. They will help us to both protect these parts of the National Park from environmental damage and vastly improve the experience for visitors, including for those who come to camp.

  1. What do the camping byelaws cover?

 

Where you can camp in a tent and stop overnight with a motorhome or campervan along some lochshores in the National Park, from 1st March to 30th September. If you camp outside of these areas you will not be affected by the byelaws. The byelaws cover less than 4% of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Irresponsible fire-lighting and collecting wood, including chopping trees for firewood. If you want to have a fire when you are camping you will need to make sure you build it in a place where it will cause no damage or use a fire bowl.  You must bring your own wood, as collecting firewood has a damaging effect on wildlife in the area.

  1. How do the camping byelaws work?

 

The byelaws create Camping Management Zones along our busiest lochshores, which are easily accessible by road. These Zones include the land from the affected lochshore to the nearby road, and for approximately 200m on the other side of the road, or to the nearest visible feature such as field boundaries or tracks.

Within these Zones, from March to September, camping is only allowed in specific areas by booking a campsite place or by obtaining a camping permit. This allows the National Park Authority to manage the volume of people staying overnight in these locations, helping to prevent overuse and damage to these popular lochshore areas.

Under the byelaws people with campervans and motorhomes can still use laybys to stop and rest (including sleeping overnight if necessary), but encampment on a road (including laybys) is an offence under road traffic legislation.

  1. When do the byelaws apply?

The byelaws are seasonal and they apply each year from 1st March to 30th September. The rest of the year you can camp in the Camping Management Zone without a permit, in accordance with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (www.outdooraccess-scotland.com).

  1. How and where can I camp in a Camping Management Zone?

 

In addition to all the existing campsites within the National Park, we have committed to providing at least 300 low-cost camping places through:

  • Your Park campsites – informal campsites, with bookable pitches and parking.
  • Permit areas (some with basic facilities) – specific areas where you can camp with a camping permit.

Some of these permit areas allow for motorhomes and campervans to stop off overnight in the Camping Management Zones with a motorhome permit.

  1. Can I still camp and ‘wild camp’ in the National Park?

Yes. The byelaws cover less than 4% of the National Park’s 720 square miles, so responsible ‘wild camping’ as described in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (www.outdooraccess-scotland.com) in most of the National Park is not affected by these byelaws. Camping across the entire Park from October to February is unaffected by the byelaws.

  1. Where are the Your Park campsites?

The National Park has informal camping facilities at the campsite next to The Cabin at Loch Lubnaig, and Forestry Commission Scotland also have Sallochy campsite on East Loch Lomond. A new National Park campsite opened at Loch Chon in the Trossachs on 1st March 2017. Like the sites at Sallochy and Loch Lubnaig, the Loch Chon site offers informal, low cost camping in a picturesque location.

  1. What are Your Park campsites like?

These campsites provide opportunities for visitors looking to camp near a lochshore with basic facilities like fresh water, toilets and parking. Pitches are clearly marked out and can be pre-booked online in advance. Pitches at Loch Chon and Sallochy come with an allocated car parking space.

  1. How do the camping permits work?

Camping in a permit area is ideal for those who prefer to have a ‘wild camping’ experience, as described in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (Outdooraccess-scotland.com), but want to stay in an area within one of the Camping Management Zones:

A number of permits are allocated for camping in specific areas within the Camping Management Zones.

People can book camping permits in advance online. These permit areas have no formal facilities or pitches, you choose where you want to camp. They allow us to provide camping at sustainable levels in popular areas within a Camping Management Zone.

Permit areas provide the opportunity to enjoy the National Park’s popular lochshores on a short stay (e.g. while hiking) or while enjoying a recreational activity, such as fishing.

 

  1. What are permit areas with services?

In permit areas with services there are toilet facilities and – in some locations but not all – limited parking. These are locations where there are higher numbers of permits available, so providing basic facilities helps make camping sustainable. Some permit areas have also been located where there are already existing toilet and parking facilities close by (e.g. Inveruglas and Firkin Point on the A82 on the West side of Loch Lomond).

  1. Where can I go in Camping Management Zones with a motorhome or campervan?

 

Within Camping Management Zones there are a number of campsites that take motorhomes and campervans.

The National Park also provides permit areas specifically for motorhomes and campervans at Three Lochs Forest Drive, Inveruglas and Firkin Point. These are designed for informal, short stays of a maximum of three nights.

Permits cost £3 per motorhome per night.

People with campervans and motorhomes can still use laybys to stop and rest (including sleeping overnight if necessary), but encampment on a road (including laybys) is an offence under road traffic legislation.

Camping in the Park

 

Click here for a larger version of this image.

  1. How much do camping and motorhome permits cost?

The cost of a permit is £3 per tent or motorhome/campervan per night. A camping permit allows the holder to camp within a specific permit area. A motorhome permit assigns the permit holder to a specific location and numbered parking bay. The maximum stay in one permit area is three consecutive nights.

Camping at one of the National Park’s Your Park campsites costs £7 per adult per night, with children aged under 16 going free.

There are a number of other campsites across the National Park. The cost of camping at other campsites varies depending on the level of facilities on offer at a specific location. For a list of campsites in the National Park go to www.lochlomond-trossachs/camping/

  1. What area is covered by these camping byelaws?

There are four Camping Management Zones; these are shown on the map above:

  • West Loch Lomond
  • East Loch Lomond
  • Trossachs West
  • Trossachs North
  1. Do these camping byelaws affect me?

Camping

Depending on where you would like to camp you may need to get a camping permit. 96% of the National Park is not affected by the new byelaws, as these seasonal byelaws only apply along the busiest lochshores, from March to September. If you wish to camp in an area which now falls within a Camping Management Zone, (from March to September) you will have to use either an official campsite or a permit area. Please check before you go.

Motorhomes and campervans

 

There are a permits available for motorhomes and campervans to stay over in the Camping Management Zones at Three Lochs Forest Drive, Inveruglas and Firkin Point. Locations and booking information is available here.

There are plenty of places within the National Park to stop and rest on your journey.  These are unaffected by the new camping byelaws.

Fires

If you want to have a fire you will need to ensure that it will cause no damage or use a fire bowl. Always bring your own wood, as collecting firewood has a damaging effect on wildlife in the area.

Angling

The byelaws do not affect where you can fish, but if you want to camp or stay in a motorhome or campervan you will need to obtain a camping permit or book into a campsite in some locations. You still have to get a valid fishing permit. Find out more about angling in the National Park here.

  1. Can organised groups camp in the Camping Management Zones?

Yes. Organised groups such as Duke of Edinburgh, Scouts, and youth organisations who wish to camp in a Camping Management Zone can apply online for permission. There is no charge for these types of groups to camp in a Camping Management Zone.

  1. What are the penalties for not complying with the byelaws?

National Park Rangers will always offer advice on how and where to camp responsibly but please be aware that failure to comply with the byelaws could result in a report to the Procurator Fiscal and a fine of up to £500. You can view our Visitor Management Engagement and Enforcement Policy here.

  1. Can landowners, businesses or communities get involved in providing new camping facilities?

Yes. We are keen to encourage more camping facilities in and around the Camping Management Zones. Any interested landowners, businesses or community organisations keen to get involved should contact: charlotte.wallace@lochlomond-trossachs.org

For more information visit:

www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/camping/

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