As plans to restrict wild camping in Loch Lomond draw nearer, the John Muir trust (along with other organizations) has proposed that educating those using the area may be a better way of dealing with antisocial and litter problems than introducing a series of bye laws which will effectively prevent or severely cut back wild camping.
As much as I don’t want to see yet another area of the UK denied to those of us who are responsible enough to leave things tidy when we leave, I sense a fudge coming on and here’s why.
How Much Education Do You Need?
What sort of form will this education take and what’s to stop it becoming a long term preventive measure instead of dealing with the problem once and for all. I would hope that almost everybody who ventures into the countryside knows that leaving vast quantities of crap lying around is something you shouldn’t do (or am I dreaming).
Is there a time scale on the how long this education process is going to correct the way people use Loch Lomand. I imagine this process won’t be something that can be set up overnight and what if months or even years are wasted with the end result still ending in the ban we’re facing now.
Bring the Hammer Down
What about taking all the money going to be spent on education and do a proper enforcement action on any camper who get’s caught leaving any site untidy. By making sure its well publicised (including cost of fines) this has to be a huge deterrent.
And when I say fines I mean huge ridiculous sums that will have the cost of any clean slapped on top. People may say this will move the problems elsewhere but I don,t think that would be the case.
Loch Lomand is so popular because its within easy reach of many large population areas and going on the present state of affairs, certain people think you can do exactly as they please there. Change the part where people using the area have no worries to one where they are more than careful to clean up and behave themselves and it instantly becomes less popular to the very campers who are causing the problem in the first place.