Greens commit to repeal the camping bye-laws

May 26, 2016 Nick Kempe No comments exist

My thanks to Stella Bray who asked Patrick Harvie, Leader of the Greens, his view of the camping byelaws in an online question and answer session before the election  His response appears 39 mins and 39 seconds into the video and is worth listening to.    He clearly states that there is no justification for stopping people from camping responsibly, that the proposed camping byelaws are contrary to the whole direction on land reform since the creation of the Scottish Parliament and that bad  behaviour, whether in Kelvin Park or Loch Lomond, can be dealt with in other ways (which is what all the campaigners against the byelaws, including former Chief Inspector Kevin Findlater, have been saying from day one).  He also indicates that the Greens will work to have the byelaws repealed.   He is, to the best of my knowledge, the first national politician to state this.


While the LLTNPA and the Scottish Government have tried to portray campers as having adverse impact on the natural environment (without having evidence for this) it is significant that the Greens, whose mission is to protect the environment, do not see people enjoying the outdoors as an environmental issue, even when they behave badly and appear to have a good  understanding of how access rights were intended to operate.     .


We need more politicians to speak out and now the Greens have taken a stance on the camping byelaws, I hope other political parties will follow.  We now have a new Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Roseanna Cunningham, who was involved in the development of the first Land Reform Act and access rights and appears far more likely to listen than Aileen McLeod, who appears to have been completely out of her depth. I am optimistic there is an opportunity to repeal the byelaws before even more resources are wasted on designing systems to try and chase campers out of the best camping areas in the National Park.

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