A couple on the shore of Loch Lomond. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A couple on the shore of Loch Lomond. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Bosses in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs national park said visitors can still enjoy the fresh air and exercise opportunities offered by its outdoor spaces.

They said people heading for the park should adhere to government advice on social distancing.

The national park authority said: “Getting outside and being around nature provides huge benefits and, in particular, can provide a real boost in times of stress and anxiety.

“Even spending time sitting outside in fresh air can help you feel better.

“Loch Lomond and The Trossachs national park offers a great many opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors responsibly whether it’s through a short walk or cycle or even just a breath of fresh air to soak up the sights and sounds. It can also provide wonderful opportunities to learn about and celebrate nature.

“While the current Covid-19-coronavirus situation is changing rapidly and we are closely monitoring this to ensure we are following national guidance, at this time there are still ways for local residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoor space of the national park responsibly in line with the advice on social distancing.

“If you’re able and well enough to get outside, whether that’s in the national park or closer to home, then we’d encourage you to do so in line with the latest guidance.

“At the moment advice is to avoid unnecessary travel by public transport, but other sustainable travel options such as walking or cycling to an area close to you is still an option.

“There are many great paths and routes around the communities of the national park to enjoy close by.”

The authority said, if the national park is too far out of reach at the moment, people should look for locally accessible green spaces which can provide just as much benefit without having to travel.

It said Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer told BBC Breakfast that it is very important that children and adults take exercise and a good place to do this is in parks.

“Being outside in the park is a very good thing to do and taking exercise is always a good thing to do.”

Activity in the open air with people keeping their distance is being recommended but it is important to avoid large social gatherings and being in groups.

A Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority spokesperson said: “Wherever you choose to go, please do it responsibly and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. In particular, we would encourage people to take their litter home and leave no trace, and to remember to keep dogs under control near to farm animals.

“While some of our offices and visitor facilities are closed to the public as a precaution, we are keeping some visitor facilities such as car parks and some public toilets open for people to use as far as possible, although this will be kept under continuous review.”

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