By a happy coincidence, just as Dave Morris’ fine letter about how investment in the outdoors can benefit landscapes, people and the local economy appeared in the Herald, I received EIR 2017-037 Response Chemical Disposal points from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. From the sublime to the ridiculous – but its an indication of just how far the LLTNPA are failing to provide basic infrastructure for visitors compared to Councils who have far fewer resources.
Last week I went to check the site and the toilets could easily be made available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through a few basic alterations to the building (which the LLTNPA owns).
The current state of the camping and campervan permit area at Inveruglas
Meanwhile, the permit places at Inveruglas share uncanny similarities with those at Forest Drive albeit in a different environment. Is this what the LLTNPA calls a quality visitor experience? For anyone unwise enough to book for a campervan permit, I would ask for my money back.
Most of the camping permit area which lies behind the campervan in the first photo looks like this – completely unfit for camping.
The LLTNPA have, however, just like at Forest Drive, strimmed an area (below) which back in March (see here) was covered in brambles.
Its unclear if the LLTNPA expect people to pitch tents between the trees or whether this is their attempt to improve the amenity of the site for anyone camping in the foreground. I walked all over the site and there was space at most for two tents. The LLTNPA has totally failed to provide the number of camping places it said it would, but far more important the way its selected and is managing those places tells you that as a body its totally unfit to manage campers or indeed any other type of visitors.
What needs to be done
The Scottish Government need to appoint someone to the LLTNPA Board who has an understanding of the basic needs of visitors and is committed to providing these. It should also ask all current Board Members and members of their senior management team to go out and spend a night in a tent in a permit zone and report on the experience and then publish this. It would make interesting reading.
The Scottish Government also need to tell the LLTNPA Board that they need to stop wasting money on policing the unenforceable and start investing that money in basic visitor infrastructure which is worthy of a National Park.