The Lomondside camping ban will apply as far as Rowardennan

The Lomondside camping ban will apply as far as Rowardennan

The Scottish Government has approved a controversial camping ban on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond.

The ban will affect walkers on the West Highland Way and the new bylaw, which comes into force on 1 June this year, will make it an offence to camp overnight on a section between Drymen and Rowardennan, except in recognised sites.

The Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority sought approval for the restrictions in response to growing problems from anti-social behaviour in the area. Stirling Council has also imposed a ban on the public consumption of alcohol on the east side of Loch Lomond, a move approved by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

When the new bylaw comes into operation, it will be illegal to camp or bivvy on a 17km (10½miles) stretch of the West Highland Way between March and October. National park rangers and police will monitor the area and penalties or up to £500 can be imposed for breaching the restrictions.

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: “East Loch Lomond has come under increasing pressure from litter, campfires and anti-social behaviour over recent years which has threatened to spoil the visitor experience for the many thousands who travel to the area each year.

“Camping will still be permitted at designated caravan and camping sites and a new semi-formal camping site is being made available at Sallochy Bay, near Rowardennan.

“These measures are designed to protect and preserve the beauty of the area whilst still providing access for responsible campers.”

National park chief executive Fiona Logan said: “By placing informal camping restrictions in certain areas and investing heavily in the most popular visitor destinations of Rowardennan, Sallochy, Milarrochy Bay and Balmaha, we hope to achieve a balance so our visitors can enjoy their stay whilst the landscape and communities around the Loch remain protected.”

The new Sallochy informal campsite will provide up to 20 pitches when at full capacity and has been provided by the national park and Forestry Commission Scotland, with places to be booked in advance.

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