An update for communities in the National Park
28th May 2020
Dear Community Representative
As I’m sure that you will be aware, the First Minister today confirmed that from tomorrow (Friday 29th May) Scotland will begin moving into the next phase of the lockdown: Phase 1 as described in the Route Map published last week.
We have been planning for the inevitable change in restrictions and earlier this week we held a briefing for representatives from Community Councils across the National Park to hear more about our planned approach. Thank you to those from the 15 Community Councils who were able to take part in the call. I hope you found it valuable.
What is changing across Scotland from tomorrow?
In the first phase of the transition more outdoor activity will be permitted, including the ability to sit out in parks, meet people from one other household outdoors, and travel short distances for exercise or leisure. More forms of non-contact outdoor recreation, like tennis, golf and water sports will also be permitted. However, these activities must continue to be done close to home and the guidance states that these should only be undertaken within roughly 5 miles of your home. The First Minister went to great lengths to emphasise this point today. You can watch her statement in full here and you can read more about the change in measures on the Scottish Government website.
What does this mean for the National Park?
Ahead of the weekend, I wanted to update you on plans for our visitor facilities as we transition into this next phase and our message to those wishing to visit the National Park.
I can confirm that all National Park visitor facilities including car parks, toilets, the Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway in Balloch, camping permit areas, motorhome permit areas and campsites remain closed and will not be open this weekend.
Our sites will only reopen when it is safe to do so for those visiting them, staff working at them and the communities who live near them. This will be a gradual process and we are not in a position to begin opening visitor sites yet.
We have been working with our public sector partners, including Police Scotland, Forestry and Land Scotland and the Local Authorities within the National Park, to ensure that there is a joined up approach to reopening these sites when the time is right. We will keep our dedicated Coronavirus web page updated with the latest information. We will continue to keep communities informed via regular updates like this, directly from the National Park Authority, updates in the Community Partnership Newsletter and via calls like the one held this week.
Our message to visitors
While national lockdown restrictions on some outdoor activities begin to ease, in line with the latest Scottish Government guidance, we are reminding people that they should not be travelling long distances and should be avoiding popular beauty spots and crowded places.
We have issued a joint press press release this evening with our public sector partners to urge people to comply with the guidance and stay close to home. Our message reiterates that no car parks, public toilets or visitor facilities are open yet.
Our messaging will urge anyone considering a visit to the National Park to think carefully about their potential impact on the place and other people if they were to visit right now.
We are working to spread the message that with only some activities allowed and facilities still closed the time is not yet right for large numbers of visitors to the area. In addition to the media coverage we expect we will be sharing updates on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. Please help spread these messages by sharing them with your networks.
As ever, if you have concerns about anti-social or unsafe behaviour in your area please contact Police Scotland on 101 or on 999 in an emergency.
We have also set up a mailbox for you to report any general visitor management / traffic issues and concerns arising: firstname.lastname@example.org. This will be very useful for our monitoring purposes only to capture information during the Scottish Government’s phased approach to moving out of lockdown.
In the event you wish to make a complaint, we ask that you use our standard channels to submit this where this relates to a National Park Authority matter, or direct other complaints to the relevant organisation through their official channels.
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority
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