The conservation and heritage charity for the
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park


Welcome boost for protecting the bonnie banks of south Loch Lomond with refusal of plans for weddings and functions complex.

The Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, has welcomed the decision by the National Park Authority to refuse planning permission for a complex of six buildings for weddings, functions and overnight accommodation in what they consider to be a particularly sensitive scenic and nature conservation area close to Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve.

James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends said:

We are pleased plans for this major development have at long last been rejected which means the special high value landscape and nature conservation qualities of the area that sweeps down to the southern shores of Loch Lomond near Gartocharn will be protected from further creeping suburbanisation

He added:

The plans for a large functions venue and associated mansion houses and swimming pools were totally inappropriate in this scenic location and right next to the RSPB National Nature Reserve which is home to a rich variety of wildlife and an important staging post for migrating geese

The plans for Wards Estate were submitted several years ago and have been subject to a series of reviews and impact assessment studies due to the sensitivity of the site.  They attracted objections from the local Community Council, RSPB, Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and many local residents.

Make a Difference Day - Monday 23rd September

Our next volunteer day will be taking place on the west banks of Loch Lomond near Inverbeg on 23rd September.

We will be continuing to tackle keeping some of the views of the loch open to avoid a return to the Loch Lomond 'tree tunnel' between Balloch and Tarbet.

We have a 10 year commitment to keeping some stretches of Loch Lomond beside the A82 clear of reseeding trees and shrubs so that the views of the bonnie banks can continue to be enjoyed. 

If you wish to take part in this enjoyable 'Make a Difference Day' please register your interest with us. 

T: 01389 727761 or E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Loch Lomond Sunset Cruise - WED 14th AUGUST

Our popular annual sunset cruise around Loch Lomond is due to take place on the Astina with live music, featuring Loch Lomond songs and ballads on Wednesday 14th August. 

This two hour cruise leaves Sweeney's Boatyard at 7pm and tickets are priced at just £12.

We do advise booking early as the cruise, which we organise jointly with the Lennox Literacy Society, is normally a sell-out.

To book your ticket(s) please give us a call on 01389 727761 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See you there!!!




Funding support for popular National Park mountain path repairs from innovate visitor giving scheme

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for Scotland's first National Park has raised £10,000 from visitors working with local tourism business in Scotland's first National Park to help improve a number of heavily used and eroded mountain paths.

The funding is being used to support the Mountains and the People project which is being led by the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland working in partnership with a range of bodies including Loch Lomnd and The Trossachs National Park.  The project was established to tackle a raft of mountain path upgrading works with a team consisting of both staff and volunteers.  Its work has included upgrading 19 paths in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park over the past four years.

The Friends is providing the funding through the pioneering Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme, which involves over 100 businesses throughout the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park collecting donations from visitors by a variety of means including opt-in donations on overnight accommodation and menu items in cafes and restaurants.

James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends said:

We are delighted to be continuing to raise funds to support this very valuable mountain paths work which is providing trainees and volunteers with an opportunity to learn new skills as well as making a real difference to the overall quality of some heavily used paths throughout the National Park.

Our visitor giving mechanism provides an ideal platform for many thousands of visitors who enjoy the extensive path network to give something back and it is encouraging to see how many are willing to do so through Friends of OUR park donations.

Outdoor Access Trust Chief Executive, Dougie Baird said:

We very much appreciate this generous contribution from the Friends innovative visitor giving scheme which is being supported by many local businesses located in the shadows of many of the most popular mountain paths that we have been involved in upgrading


Volunteers & Forest Holidays recognised by National Park charity after outstanding contribution to making a difference


Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, has recognised the outstanding voluntary contributions made by two long serving stalwarts of their respective communities in Arrochar and Strachur as well as Forest Holidays who have supported a number of practical initiatives to make a difference for the benefit of people in Scotland's first National Park.

At the charity's recent annual general meeting, awards were given to Mary Haggarty, the long service Secretary of Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Community Council and Evie Campbell of Strachur for her contribution to the Lauder Cowal connections and Lauder Monument restoration programme over the last few years.

Mary, very appropriately, received the Hannah Stirling National Park Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her hard work, commitment and outstanding service over 58 years in a variety of voluntary youth, community and heritage roles in the Arrochar and Tarbet area.  There are very few aspects of community life and projects Mary has not been involved in through her activities as a youth club leader, Secretary of the Community Council, Chair of the local Heritage Group, a members of the Communty Campus Group and many other groups trying to improve local facilities and services for residnets and visitors.

The Hannah Stirling National Park Lifetime Achievement Award was established by the Friends in 2015 in honour of its late former President.

Mary said:

I was delighted to receive this prestigious award from the Friends and it came as a complete surprise that my efforts on behalf of my local community over many years were recognised in this way.  Having met with Hannah on the volunteer circuit locally over 50 years ago and many times since I was deeply touched to receive this award in her memory.

The Friends also recognised the efforts of Strachur woman Evie Campbell who was a District Nurse and Midwife Health Visitor in Cowal for almost  30 years but has also been heavily involved in many aspects of community life in a voluntary capacity including the Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop and Strachur Memorial Hall.  Evie was particularly recognised for her efforts in recent years coordinating and delivering a very memorable concert in Strachur to mark the Sir Harry Lauder and Cpt John Lauder connections with Cowal and for helping deliver a moving ceremony to commemorate the restoration and rededication of the Lauder Monument at Invernoaden last December which was a flagship Friends project.  She received the Gavin Arneil Volunteer of the Year Award.

Evie said:

I was honoured to receive this award for my contribution along with many others in the local community to marking the Lauder Cowal Connections and the completion of the Friends restoration and improvement project at the Lauder Monument which was erected many years ago in memory of Cpt John Lauder who was tragically killed in the First World War a month after his father had purchased Glenbranter Estate for him as an engagement present.

The Friends also recognised Forest Holidays with the National Park Business Supporter of the Year award in recognition of their contribution to community projects, litter volunteering events and sponsorship of youth engagement initiatives which have enriched and empowered the lives of many youngsters living in the National Park.  Forest Holidays have developed very successful clusters of high quality self-catering lodges in forest settings at Ardgartan and Strathyre.

Friends Chairman James Fraser said:

All of these award winners are fully worthy of their recognition and we are grateful for the respective ways in which they have helped to make a real difference around the National Park, whether it is campaigning for specific improvement projects, supporting youth inititatives, organising local events or taking part in litter clearance work to keep Scotland's first National Park beautiful.  We are always on the look out for volunteers and businesses to become involved with the Friends and anybody interested in doing this in either capacity is welcome to get in touch.  We congratulate all of our award winners this year and commend their efforts.


Vacancy - Support Officer for the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

New Vacancy - Support Officer for the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

Role: Support Officer

Salary: £20,000 pro rata

Hours: 18 hours per week (Mon - Fri flexible by arrangement)

Contract type: Permanent

Location: Based in Balloch


About the Role

The Friends of Loch Lomond is seeking to appoint a part time Support Officer who will be an experienced administrator with a procative attitude to work with the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park's only independent conservation and heritage charity.

For over 40 years we have been working to protect and nurture the special qualities of the National Park, promote and celebrate it's natural and cultural heritage, and provide support to make the National Park a better place for people and nature.  We currently are active on a number of fronts and this post involves supporting a Board of voluntary trustees with the delivery of an interesting and diverse range of programmes and activities.

The closing date for applications is Monday 5pm 1st July 2019.

Please note CV's will not be accepted as a means of application.

Job description:

Use of a car will be required for this post on an occasional basis.

The Support Officer role will include:

  • General administrative duties including email, telephone enquiries and taking minutes of meetings
  • Manage and update financial, member contact and statistical information in MS Access and other MS Office applications
  • Maintain a positive contact with Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme members, business supporters and including collection of monies raised.
  • Assist with press and marketing activities to promote the Friends activities including the Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme
  • Regular updates and maintenance of the project awards files, the Friends' website and facebook posts
  • Assist with compilation and distribution of 'OUR park' newsletter updates.
  • 'The Voice' magazine and news releases
  • Identifying and making contact with potential individual members and businesses as directed
  • Assist with all aspects of OUR park and Friends events - these include volunteer/fundraising events, scheme member events and meetings.

Apply/Job Spec :

Enquiries: 01389 727761 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Ardroy Centre celebrates 50th Anniversary with launch of new fundraising appeal.

Ardroy centre celebrates 50th anniversary with launch of new fundraising appeal to inspire children for the next 50 years.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre charitable trust launched an appeal in Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline today (Thursday 28th March) to raise £650,000 to modernise facilities with a replacement accommodation block so that the Centre can continue to provide thousands of children and young people from Fife and elsewhere with truly, inspiring life changing outdoor experiences for the next 50 years.

Ardroy, situated in a spectacular setting on the edge of Loch Goil in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, has provided over 100,000 children and young people with enjoyable life changing outdoor experiences for the past 50 years.

James Fraser, Chairman of the Ardroy Trust said: "Ardroy has been a great success story both under the previous stewardship of Fife Council for more than 40 years and for the past 8 years under the umbrella of an independent charitable trust that is investing heavily in upgrading facilities to ensure the Centre is fit for the future."

Provost Jim Leishman of Fife Council who was invited to launch the appeal said:

"Ardroy has had a special relationship with Fifers for the last 50 years, and I am delighted to be invited today to help recognise their excellent work with generations of Fife children and to launch Ardroy's fundraising appeal to replace the original accommodation block, which has seen better days, with modern facilities that wil be enjoyed by thousands of Fife children and young people for another 50 years"

David Thorpe, Ardroy's Centre Manager says,

"This is a significant milestone for Ardroy.  The current team are incredibly proud to be continuing to deliver life changing experiences through residential learning in the outdoors, 50 years on from when the centre opened.  To continue to sustain and improve what we do for future generations however, we need to replace our existing accommodation block."

Ardroy was openend in Lochgoilhead, Argyll in 1969 by Fife Council and ran successfully for many years until 2011 when its closure was announced due to local authority financial pressures.  With the passionate support of parents, teachers, staff and national politicians a group of people came together and negotiated to take over Ardroy which reopened a few months later as a Charitable Trust & Social Enterprise.

Ardroy's outdoor education programmes, which include canoeing, climbing, abseiling, gorge walking and woodland skills, are outcome driven, with a big emphasis on reviewing experiences and transferring this learning back to schools, workplaces and homes.  The centre supports young people to develop and grow, learning new skills and capacities both as individuals and as team members in a wider Ardroy community - all this helps to prepare them for life's big adventures.

Over the past 8 years Ardroy has gone from strength to strength, expanding its operation to offer outdoor residential experiences to not only Fife schools, but also the National Citizen Service, National Deaf Children's Society and a wide variety of Youth Groups.  In the future the centre is planning to enter into partnership with children's charities to work with family units who require some support in bringing them closer together.

To ensure Ardroy can continue to inspire children for another 50 years there is a need to modernise facilities with a replacement accommodation block. The new building will be flexible in its design with wheelchair accessibility, enabling the Centre to work more with families and young people from all backgrounds, so they can enjoy the magic of Ardroy and the National Park.

Make a donation to help Ardroy inspire children for another 50 years

Help Ardroy inspire children for another 50 years by making a donation -  text 'ARDROY' to 70085 to donate £5 (this costs £5 plus a std rate msg).

Alternatively, give any whole amount up to £20 (eg. 'ARDROY 20').

You can also donate onine at as well as share your own experiences on 'My Ardroy Story' on the Ardroy Facebook page.

For further information contact:

David Thorpe, Ardroy Centre Manager

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T: (01301) 703353

For more information on Ardroy OEC go to





Cowalfest announce dates for walking events and AGM

On the 27th, 28th and 29th September the CowalFest committee are offering three days of hills and trail walks to tie in with the Dunoon Presents Outdoor Festival.

The outdoor festival from Dunoon Presents, is a new event covering many different outdoor activities around Dunoon and Cowal. This event is a great opportunity for new walkers, and the welcome return of regular attendees if the CowalFest.

Unfortunately the CowalFest committee are unable to organise a regular 8/10 day festival for 2019 largely due to financial and organisational reasons, and a shortage of volunteers.

To help keep the Cowal Walking Festival alive for future years to come, the CowalFest committee are seeking new members and volunteers particularly with skills to assist with their website, social media, marketing and PR.

All are welcome to pop along to their AGM on TUE 26 MARCH 2019, at the Cowal Camera club premises on Castle Street, Dunoon PA23 7HR at 7.30pm.

Visit for directions.

Event information:



Volunteers make a difference on Loch Lomond side


As part of a major initiative to open up and maintain views of Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond from the busy A82 the conservation charity Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs recently organised a very successful Make A Difference Day with the support of the National Park Authority and Luss estates.

Good weather blessed the efforts by the 'Make A Difference Day' volunteers working to open up views of the busy 1 kiliometre busy stretch of the A82 just north of Inverbeg on Loch Lomondside.

A total of 13 volunteers from a variety of organisations and backgrounds selflessly gave up their day and cleared scrub and saplings which threatened to obscure views of Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond.  They also collected piles of rubbish including old car seats and kitchen equipment that had been thoughtlessly discarded.on the banks of Loch Lomond and distracted from the scenic beauty of this popular visitor destination.

Handing out 'Friends of OUR Park' badges to the volunteers, John Urquhart Vice Chair of the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs said 'The continued support of an enthusiastic band of volunteers once again has made a huge difference,on the ground in protecting and improving scenic views of Loch Lomond".

He also thanked Friends Business Supporter, Niall Colquhoun, proprietor of the Inn on Loch Lomond Hotel for kindly providing a lunch of soup and sandwiches for the volunteers. 


Anniversary of Captain John Lauder commemorated

Lauder Monument restoration and access improvements were complete in time for a special event commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the death of Sir Harry Lauder's son, Captain John Lauder, in WW1.

There was a large turnout of people who came along to mark the completion of a 3 year project to restore the Lauder Monument at Invernoaden in Argyll that was originally unveiled in 1921 by world famous entertainer Sir Harry Lauder in memory of his son.

The £25,000 project, coordinated by the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, also involved the creation of a new car park, along with a new path link, upgrading an existing steep path with stone steps and safety railings, and the installation of two story boards and signs.

Funding for the project was secured from two Landfill Trusts and the Friend of OUR park visitor giving scheme, and to ensure the project was completed in time many hundreds of hours of voluntary labour was generously provided.

Local youngsters contributed to the commemorative event with a series of drawings depicting the tragic Lauder Story adorning the ornate railngs aroung the monument, and poignant letter and poetry readings as well as musical tributes on the bagpipes including battle of the Somme.

There was also a wreath laying by Major Donald MacLaughlan and a rededication of the monument by Rev Dr. Robin Mackenzie followed by the unveiling of a new storyboard by local MSP, Mike Russell.