In a post on Monday (see here) I originally suggested that as well as the photo on the front cover of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs draft Annual Report being unrepresentative, it might have been taken from outwith an area where camping was allowed. I was wrong and I apologise for this. The LLTNPA photo was taken from Suie Field permit area and the post has been corrected.
I am very grateful to Nick Halls for checking this. His photos show that while I was wrong to question where the Park’s photo had been taken, the way the LLTNPA photo has been framed portrays what is a small patch of ground in a certain way, (which is partly why I did not recognise it).
The LLTNPA photo does not show is relationship between the patch of ground in the photo – which looks great – and the surrounding area. The photo above, without tent, provides what I would argue is a more accurate depiction of the reality. A tangle of vegetation now covers much of Suie field (seen here on right) – which makes camping impossible over much of the area, leaving a couple of small patches of grass sward suitable for tents at the edge of the beach. There is no need to take my word on this, the Park website currently provides photos giving very different views of Suie Field (see here – click on photos under Suie Field) although you might not realise from these how bumpy the tufted grass areas are for camping purposes. The photo on the front page of the Annual Report does not at present feature in that portrayal of Suie field, possibly because at the time those photos were taken, the patch depicted in the Annual Report had been recently flooded and looked rather different.
There is a serious issue here about how photos are being used by the LLTNPA to try and persuade people to accept its world view. The dozens of photos of abandoned tents, often of the same abandoned campsite taken from different angles, which the LLTNPA used to persuade people to agree to access rights being curtailed, framed the whole camping byelaw debate. The LLTNPA is now using its media team to try and convince the public that its camping friendly and is doing all it can to welcome campers. That’s not true, as I hope posts on camping permit areas over the last few months have shown. Its vitally important though that in countering Park propaganda, its critics don’t use the same tactics and acknowledge and correct mistakes. Hence my apology.