Bosses to spend millions on park improvements

National park bosses have revealed their plan to transform part of the Highlands with new campsites and improved motorhome facilities. Both Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority think that the improvements will make the area a world class destination to match California’s Yosemite.

The plan, which will cost £850,000 initially, will see the establishment of a series of ‘informal campsites’ that will be similar to the one at Sallochy on the east shore of Loch Lomond. Almost all the campers along the shores of the Lochs in question arrive by motorhome and park rangers counted more than 2,500 in a six-month period earlier this year.

The 5 Lochs plan covers the area around Loch Venachar, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Earn, Loch Achray and Loch Voil and the facilities planned include new toilets, bigger parking bays, barbecue stands at each of the pitches, picnic benches and bigger recycling points. In a survey conducted by the authority, 78% of motorhome owners said they wanted an increase in the number of managed campsites and 88% would be willing to pay a small charge for the planned facilities. It is thought that mobile home owners from all over the UK will be taking out motorhome insurance and heading to at least one of the five loch’s being improved.

Linda McKay, chair of the national park authority, said “National park status across the globe stands as a quality benchmark, representing the best that countries have to offer. We are fortunate to have some of the most beautiful loch shore sites in Scotland and some of the most impressive landscapes in the world. The quality of what we offer our visitors needs to reflect the natural significance of this park. The 5 Lochs visitor management plan will help raise the standard of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park to be on a par with our US counterparts such as Yosemite where visitor needs are catered for and the tourism industry has a huge impact on the national economy.”

By investing in high quality facilities it is hoped the visitors will stimulate both the rural and general Scottish economy. If everybody works together they can make the area a great place for people to live in and a great place for tourists to visit and see some of the finest scenery in the world. The total cost of the plan is put at £5.8 million pounds.