This meet up it is a positive action group with the aim of maintaining public rights of access to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
You may have read about the National Park’s plan to ban all camping on the western shore of the Loch. They argue that camping is damaging to the land and campers behave anti-socially.
We, and many others in the walking and outdoor community, know that to be false. We know that most campers are conscientious people who love and respect the natural environment. We reject the idea that good campers should be criminalised along with the bad.
In order to better explain the distinction and counter the National Park’s claim that outdoors people leave mess and destruction wherever we go, we would like to organise a few events.
The first will be fun small-scale camps on the loch side. As ever, we will be careful to leave the land as we found it – or better. There will also be some positive-action days where we will work as a team to tidy up the loch side, remove litter, and demonstrate that walkers and others respect and care for the environment.
Please come along and show your support. Our hope is that the National Park will listen to our concerns and decide against disproportionately blocking access to some of Scotland’s most beautiful shoreline and that they will instead focus on more targeted ways of dealing with littering and anti-social behaviour.
Right to roam and access rights start from the principle that the countryside is an asset of the Scottish people, that no one land owner should have a monopoly or be able to exclude others. While we entirely support the view that littering and anti-social behaviour should be combatted (it upsets us as much as anyone), we believe the plan to remove public access rights to a National Park goes too far, that it is a disproportionate response and undermines the very reason National Parks were created in the first place. We call on the National Park Authority to target the perpetrators, not criminalise those who love the outdoors.
We have chosen Meetup as the platform as it is already familiar to many thousands in the walking community and other outdoor sectors. The key to success is organisation and communication and we hope this Meetup will allow us to learn from each other and present a united front for each problem we tackle. If you have any ideas to help achieve these goals please join us and share your insight.
All the hard work in the world can easily be undone by a single negative action so, as a group, it is important that we fully understand and support the aims of any day out before taking part and that we are also willing to stay within the bounds of the plan for the day.