The National Park is visited by millions of people each year for the wide range of experiences and benefits it offers. However, the volume of visitors can also create pressures. Managing these pressures is a key priority for the National Park Authority and our partners.
“The most popular parts of the National Park which experience pressures are managed to ensure that the quality of environment, visitor experience and community life are protected and enhanced.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and easing of lockdown restrictions brought a significant rise in visitor numbers and associated pressures to the national park in summer 2020.
You can read more about this in our Visitor Management 2020 Season Review report.
With further lockdown restrictions easing in spring 2021, it is anticipated that the National Park will again see a similar surge in visitor numbers with people, particularly from Scotland and the UK, seeking opportunities to enjoy the outdoors after an extended period of time at home. Ongoing restrictions on overseas travel and the use of public transport due to COVID-19 will likely lead to increased demand for staycations and reliance on cars and motorhomes.
The National Park is well placed to support people’s mental and physical wellbeing post-lockdown and visitors will be welcome and encouraged to enjoy the area responsibly.
However it is also recognised that the volume of visitors, and the irresponsible behaviour of some, will again create pressures.
A significant amount of work by a range of partners has gone into preparing for the 2021 visitor season. This work has been driven by the National Park Safe Recovery Action Group, led by the National Park Authority in partnership with Police Scotland, Forestry and Land Scotland, Transport Scotland, West Dunbartonshire Council, Argyll and Bute Council, Stirling Council and Perth and Kinross Council.
A Joint Response Visitor Management Plan has been prepared by the group setting out the extensive range of measures and resources being put in place across the National Park this season.
While this plan primarily focused on the upcoming season, it is also recognised not all challenges will be resolved in one year.
Work is ongoing and will continue with all key partners and stakeholders on developing longer term solutions.