Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is preparing to welcome campers to its lochshores as the second season of camping management byelaws come into effect on 1 March.
The seasonal byelaws cover certain parts of the National Park between March and September.
The byelaws were introduced in 2017 in order to protect some of the area’s most popular lochshores from environmental damage caused by the high volume of visitors and issues with antisocial behaviour from some campers going back a number of years.
The byelaws create Camping Management Zones, covering less than 4% of the National Park,’ where, between March and September, campers need to camp in a designated camping permit area or a campsite.
In 2017, more than 16,000 people camped in the new permit areas and the newly created low cost campsite at Loch Chon. Feedback gathered from people who camped was extremely positive with 87% of those who responded said they would recommend staying in a permit area to others.
The National Park Authority is reminding anyone coming to camp this season to be aware of the byelaws and plan their trip in advance.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “Camping is a great way to enjoy the National Park and we’re pleased with how things went last summer. The feedback we received through our online surveys and what the Rangers experienced from speaking to people face to face was overall very positive.
“But we know that the camping byelaws are still relatively new so it’s important that we continue to make people aware of how they work and encourage them to plan ahead.”
Feedback gathered throughout last season was used to fine-tune how the byelaws operated and that has continued over the winter months with changes being made on the ground and behind the scenes to further improve the experience for campers in 2018.
Gordon Watson added: “We have continued to gather feedback from a broad range of people over the Winter, including visitors, communities and partner organisations and are using that to inform how things work for 2018.
“There will be some visible changes this year such as new pitch surfaces, better water facilities, and connectivity for online bookings at Loch Chon campsite. There will also be some additional signage in places where people told us it was needed to make the Camping Management Zones clearer.
“Work is also underway to build another new low cost campsite at Loch Achray in time for the peak summer season which will provide further low cost camping opportunities at this popular spot.
“We’ve also made changes to our website and online booking system that will help improve the overall experience for people coming to camp.”
The byelaws also cover irresponsible firelighting, including cutting down trees and the removal of dead wood which is damaging to the environment and wildlife. Anyone planning to have a campfire should bring their own firewood and keep fires small, under control and away from tents and buildings.
Wild camping, in accordance with the Outdoor Access Code, is still permitted outside of the Camping Management Zones. There are also a great range of private campsites throughout the National Park offering a full range of facilities.
Mr Watson said: “We are committed to providing great camping experiences for everyone while at the same time protecting the Park’s unique environment for the future. We will continue to gather feedback and further improve things throughout this season and look forward to welcoming many more people to enjoy camping this summer.”
Find out more and book a permit.