With the temperatures dropping and the leaves starting to change colour, we are clearly seeing a shift into autumn in the National Park.

There have, however, still been some wonderfully sunny days and plenty of people out enjoying the area particularly at weekends.

While the majority of visitors do behave responsibly, some of the problems and pressures experienced over the summer since lockdown eased have continued.

The September holiday weekend saw more significant parking issues in many areas across the National Park, with irresponsible and reckless parking on narrow roads. This hampered emergency access for ambulances and a mountain rescue team at two separate incidents.

Luckily everything in these cases did eventually turned out all right, but the incidents do serve to highlight how dangerous this kind of parking is, and why road restrictions and advice must be followed.

We continue to work closely each week with our partners in Police Scotland, Transport Scotland, Argyll and Bute, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire and Perth and Kinross Councils as well as Forestry and Land Scotland to address these visitor pressures and respond to issues on the ground.

Now we are in the October school holidays, and with many people’s usual holiday plans changing to “staycations”, we are all particularly focused on working together to manage another busy period and ensure everyone can enjoy their visits safely and responsibly.

To support this we’re extending some of our normal summer operations until late October.

This includes keeping our campsites at Loch Chon and Loch Achray open for bookings until October 26, and keeping our seasonal public toilets around the National Park open until the end of the month. Some of these will also stay open through the winter.

Our rangers will continue to be on patrol to help manage the anticipated increase in visitors and to provide advice and information to encourage responsible behaviour.

They will also work closely with Police Scotland when needed.

I would again make a plea to visitors: if you arrive at already congested areas, please consider alternative destinations which may be less busy.

To help with a Plan B, please check our website and social media channels for up to date information, advice and inspiration to help people to enjoy their October break.