Consultation drawing to a close
WITH less than two weeks to go unitl the end of the Loch Lomond byelaw consultation, the National Park has revealed it has received hundreds of responses from the public.
A number of measures have been proposed including some suggested options to manage some of the spectacular islands on the loch.
They include; continuing with current practices including signage and patrols by rangers, introducing facilities that help to manage the issues, such as, fire pits, toilets, camping pitches and introduce a byelaw to manage camping in other places outside designated camping areas to help protect the fragile habitats and wildlife of the islands.
Fiona Logan, CEO of the National Park said: "It's great that so many people are talking about the issues we're consulting on. The whole point of the consultation is to investigate how we can manage visitors better to make sure that both the landscape and wildlife are protected for people to enjoy.
Since the camping and alcohol byelaws were introduced in 2011, there has been a 50% drop in reported crime, a 97% reduction in litter observed and a 93% reduction in tents and fires outwith designated campsites. We now need to look at the islands and ask the question, what can be done to safeguard the landscape and wildlife habitats for people to still enjoy.
By creating a debate, we can get a real sense of local and national opinion about how we can look after the loch and especially the legally protected islands.
We're not in the business of banning people from this wonderful National Park, it's quite the reverse. We're actively encouraging people to come out and explore Loch Lomond and The Trossachs."
Sandy Fraser, resident and owner of the Oak tree Inn, Balmaha said: "Over the years, we have seen a noticeable drop in the number of families coming into the Oak Tree Inn before and after visits to Manse Bay, Milarrochy, Sallochy and Rowardennan. Some families have vowed never to return, describing Sallochy as a 'no-go' area.
The introduction of the camping and alcohol bylaws in 2011 has made a huge difference, to the east side of Loch Lomond. In respect of returning happy families and WHW walkers, they are commenting positively on the enjoyable walk through Sallochy and Manse Bay, unheard of only two years ago.
With regard to the proposals for the islands, there is urgent need for some form of control which is evident to the feedback we receive from visitors and boat users.
The situation at present is incredibly sad, the beaches are on occasion littered with discarded tents, beer bottles and general rubbish - not from one day's enjoyment but weeks of permanent partying."
The closing date for the byelaw consultation is Monday June 18.
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 07 Jun 12
Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter Poll
Are you prepared for another onslaught of snow?
This Poll is now closed.