News from the National Park Authority
Following last week’s announcement by the First Minister that Scotland would begin moving into Phases 2 and 3 of the routemap out of lockdown, further indicative dates for changes within this phase have been announced this week. Some of these changes are being brought forward earlier than had been originally expected.
The indicative dates announced this week are:
·Travel distance restriction relaxed
·Self-catering accommodation and second homes (without shared facilities) permitted
·Outdoor hospitality (subject to physical distancing rules and public health advice)
·People can meet in extended groups outdoors (with physical distancing)
·Households can meet indoors with up to a maximum of two other households (with physical distancing)
·Organised outdoor contact sports can resume for children and young people (subject to guidance)
·Non-essential shops inside shopping centres can re-open (following guidance and with physical distancing)
·All holiday accommodation permitted (following relevant guidance)
Indoor hospitality (subject to physical distancing rules and public
This shows that further good progress is being made on suppressing the virus
and will be welcome news to many. At the same time, the shorter timescales for
some of these stages does also present challenges in terms of reopening
planning. We are currently reviewing our plans for reopening National Park
sites and facilities and will provide more detail on timings next week.
While detailed planning is already underway for the reopening of National Park
sites and facilities, we are reviewing these plans in light of these new dates.
Our priority for reopening will continue to be car parks and toilets first as
these are the facilities that support the majority of visitors and a wide range
of visitors. We are working closely with our partners to coordinate timings for
this with the aim of opening all car parks and toilets in key visitor hotspots
by Friday 3rd July in line with the lifting of travel restrictions.
We are also carrying out detailed risk assessments to ensure we have
appropriate safety measures in place where necessary before these facilities
open. We are also considering options for additional temporary provision of
toilets in some locations.
When these facilities do open, they will not operate as they did before with
reduced capacity and safety measures in place. This is a message we will be
clearly communicating to visitors once the five mile guidance on travel is
We will also focus our messaging to visitors on the importance of
planning ahead, not going to crowded places and responsible behaviour,
especially when it comes to litter, when they do come to the National Park.
We are grateful to communities within the National Park who feedback important
information to us about issues or visitor pressures you are feeling on the
ground. We are sharing information with key partners as part of our National
Park Safe Recovery Working Group to address these wherever possible. Please
continue to send us information on issues arising to [email protected] for
More information on our response to the lockdown changes and updated
reopening plans will be shared and discussed with community representative
groups at a meeting next week as well as with businesses and other key
stakeholder groups. We welcome your support in sharing these updates locally.
Further information and guidance for National Park communities
will continue to be provided on our dedicated Coronavirus web page at www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/coronavirus.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything in this update,
please contact [email protected]
The Community Council has now delivered nearly 30 packs of face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser to those residents who have been shielding and are now preparing to venture out to shops etc.
We have applied for a small grant from The Community Partnership and pleased to have been successful, which allows us to distribute more of these PPE packs.
If you would like a pack or indeed know someone who would benefit from one, please contact [email protected] or call Peter on 07946 568002.
For those who have already had a pack which included disposable masks, please note that we have now secured a supply of washable masks and will be delivering these over the next few days. This means that everyone who needs one, can now have a mask that can be reused.
We also have a large container of hand sanitiser and if you keep hold of the small bottle from the original pack, this can refilled for you too.
Finally, you will shortly receive a booklet through your door which has recently been produced by the Drymen Covid Support Group. The main aim is to highlight all the various types of support available for residents of Drymen, Croftamie and Buchanan Castle at this time. These will be hand-delivered across the village and if you have some spare time to help distribute these, please let us know via [email protected]
Thanks and stay safe
Croftamie Community Council
As residents will be aware, over the last few weeks, parking near Devil's Pulpit has been worse than ever, with cars parked along the A809 and on the B834.
Last weekend at one point there were over 120 cars parked on the road, with visitors walking along verges close to traffic. There is no doubt this situation presents a real danger and some action is necessary.
Croftamie Community Council have requested through Councillor Graham Lambie, that the 'Right to Roam' is temporarily removed, taking away access to Finnich Glen, and that the Council and Police enforce this. We are waiting on an update on this request.
In addition, the Council are now proposing to add double yellow lines (no parking at any time) on the A809 and B834. Croftamie Community Council are generally supportive of this move, and believe it is a step in the right direction, providing it is enforced accordingly, and that appropriate action is also taken should the parking issue end up being pushed into the village.
Should you have any comments regarding this proposal, please send them to William Collins, Traffic Management Officer at Stirling Council, [email protected]
We are pleased to say that we now have a supply of gloves, masks and anti-bacterial gel and have already delivered packs to 10 houses in the village so far.
Packs will initially contain 5 pairs of gloves, 5 masks and a small bottle of anti-bacterial gel. Further supplies have been ordered and we hope to be able to continue to provide these packs for as long as required in the coming weeks and months. To help reduce single-use plastic we hope to refill the bottles provided.
If you have been shielding or know someone who has been, and would benefit from PPE packs, please let us know by emailing [email protected]
Delivery of groceries is still happening twice a week, for those who have requested assistance and the 'buddy scheme' is still in place too.
In these challenging times, if there is any other support you need, please contact us and we will do our best to help.
Stay safe and well.
Croftamie Community Council
Some of the updates from the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Community Partnership Team
News from the National Park Authority
Over the last two weeks, significant resources have been put in place across all of our partners to address issues caused by large numbers of people ignoring the national guidance on not travelling to beauty spots such as the National Park.
The National Park Safe Recovery Action Group, which has been convened and led by the National Park Authority, continues to meet weekly to assess the situation and is regularly communicating over weekends and periods of sunny weather to agree actions in 'real time' to respond to activity and pressures within the Park. The group is made up of Police Scotland, Transport Scotland, the four local authorities within the Park, Forestry and Land Scotland and ourselves.
As a result of this very close and detailed joint working there have been additional patrols by Police Scotland and local authority traffic enforcement officers, as well as both land and boat patrols by National Park Rangers. We have had staff out collecting an enormous amount of litter, including at closed sites that people should not be visiting at this time. We'd also like to thank the land owners and local residents who have helped collect litter in their local areas.
Last week additional traffic management measures were put in place in areas where we know there are particular risks and pressures, such as at East Loch Lomond, the A82 near Falls of Falloch and around Callander. Last Saturday saw a further traffic issue with cars parked on the A83 at Arrochar, which was addressed over the course of the weekend by Police Scotland and Argyll & Bute Council and resulted in a greatly improved situation on the ground on Sunday.
All National Park visitor sites and facilities, including car parks, remain closed for now in line with Scottish Government guidance. We are working to progress and coordinate plans for the reopening of facilities over the coming weeks as we potentially move into the next phase of lockdown restrictions easing. A further update on our approach and priorities for reopening will be provided following the Scottish Government lockdown review date on 18th June and in anticipation of the tourism sector potentially being able to reopen from 15th July. This will be a gradual process with not everything opening at once.
Ahead of this weekend, both the National Park Authority and our partners are continuing to clearly and consistently communicate the message that people should not be visiting the National Park from other areas at this time. We will continue to work together to deploy the necessary staff on the ground over the coming weeks, while ensuring their own protection from the virus.
Please continue to use the [email protected] email address to share information with us on any issues arising. We appreciate the feedback we have received from communities around the National Park and are using this to address issues and concerns wherever possible.