BOSSES at the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park have held talks with politicians over tourist infrastructure in the area after a spike in littering and anti-social behaviour following the easing of lockdown limits.

Park officials have admitted that the post-lockdown summer period has been a challenge, with littering, irresponsible parking and antisocial camping behaviours becoming rife in the area.

They met Conservative councillors from across the National Park area to discuss how to ensure there are enough bins, toilets, parking areas and camping facilities to meet the park’s ambition of growing visitor numbers in the area.

Simon Jones, the park’s director of conservation and visitor operations, said: “We completely share the frustrations of local communities over some of the issues we’ve seen in the National Park since lockdown eased.

“A huge amount of time and resource has gone into tackling littering, irresponsible parking and antisocial camping behaviours and we continue to work extremely closely with our local authority partners, Police Scotland and Transport Scotland on these.

“We’ve also added extra weekly clean ups at key sites and are working with local authorities to coordinate collections.

“New smart-bins have been installed at some of the National Park’s key sites which use sensors to alert when bins need emptied as well as a significant programme of upgrades to our toilets and car parks at key sites prior to lockdown.

“Through our communications we are urging people to respect the National Park and in particular take their litter home.

“These are not new issues, but we do recognise that this summer has been a particular challenge and we are committed to continuing to work together with our partners and communities to address these longer term.”

Councillor Sally Page added: “A better joined-up approach is required between the park and local councils, more litter bins emptied regularly and a programme of education on looking after our natural environment.

“More engagement with local councils was one of the main aims of appointing a litter officer, and engagement with local councillors would be useful too.”