The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) says it does not plan to introduce bye-laws outlawing informal camping in certain areas of the Park but will work with landowners and other agencies to manage hotspots more effectively.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park has introduced bye-laws to tackle problem camping spots in certain areas but the CNPA says that while the Cairngorms National Park Authority is taking the issue seriously, there is no need for similar laws to be introduced here.
The issue of informal camping in the Cairngorms National Park was discussed last week (Friday 19 March) by the CNPA board at its meeting in Glenlivet. Addressing members, the CNPA’s Head of Visitor Services and Recreation, Murray Ferguson said: “Most people camp very responsibly in the National Park and have a great time while causing very few problems. However there are two sites which have become hotspots and where we have had complaints about too many incidents of anti social behaviour, for example cutting down trees for camp fires, leaving litter, human waste or disturbing other visitors. These are the Clunie Flats on Invercauld Estate near Braemar and at Loch Morlich.
“Informal camping is a legitimate activity wherever access rights apply – including close to roads, so long as the participants are behaving responsibly. It is the CNPA’s role, to help land managers to tackle these problems where they occur.”
The Cairngorms National Park Authority is proposing a new management approach including encouraging more partnership working to tackle problem sites, involving ranger services and the CNPA; developing suitable alternative campsites to which people can be directed; developing a variety of communications materials for use by ranger services and others; and improving support and liaison arrangements with the police.
CNPA convener David Green said: “The lead on any site where there are problems has to come from the land manager but they will have the support of the Cairngorms National Park Authority and other partners. The board is very much in agreement with the actions outlined in the board paper as to how we go about handling the issue of informal camping where there are problems. This is a situation which will be monitored very closely over the coming two years and if we have to re-think our strategy we will do so based on the evidence gathered.”
To access this board paper in full please go to www.cairngorms.co.uk/parkauthority/meetingspapers/board/index.php