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


Luss Clean-up Day

Thursday, March 8 2018

Luss Clean-up Day, organised by Luss and Arden Community Development Trust, is taking place on Saturday, March 24, and all volunteers are invited to take part.

The day's activity will consist of path clearance, a litter pick-up, and the removal of larger fly-tipping where possible. Anybody coming along is asked to bring garden gloves and waterproof clothing.

Participants are asked to assemble at 9am at The Village Rest, where tea, coffee and bacon rolls will be provided to start the day. At the conclusion of the event, which is expected to be around 12.30pm, a soup and sandwich lunch will be laid on by, and served at, the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel.

For more information please call 01389 710000 or 07833 751454.

Tourism conference to take place in National Park

Tuesday, February 27 2018

A major conference for tourism related businesses in and around the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is being held in Balloch on Tuesday 13th March between 10.00am and 3pm with an impressive line-up of speakers.

The theme of the conference is ‘’Growing Sustainable Tourism Businesses’’ and is being organised by the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, with support from Scottish Enterprise and the National Park Authority, as part of a Collaborating for Success initiative being coordinated by Love Loch Lomond and aimed at maximising the tourism potential of the National Park, the Clyde Sea Lochs Trail, and surrounding communities.

The conference will provide an ideal opportunity for businesses to hear about the tourism priorities for the National Park over the next 5 years and to explore, in very practical ways, sustainable tourism growth opportunities with a range of speakers from a variety of agencies and successful local businesses.


Speakers include National Park Authority Chief Executive Gordon Watson, Janie Neumann, Industry Development Manager (Sustainability/Food and Drink) from Visit Scotland and Jim Walker from Cumbria Tourism, the destination organisation that covers the Lake District National Park where there are some useful lessons on how to develop sustainable tourism businesses.


There will also be speakers from local successful businesses in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, including Tom Lewis of Mhor Group who operate a range of accommodation and catering businesses in Balquhidder Glen and Callander; Sandy Fraser of the Oak Tree Inn, the Village Shop and St Mocha Coffee Shop in Balmaha; and Gordon Allan of the Loch Katrine Steamship Company who have recently diversified with the addition of an eco-camp catering for the growing glamping market.


James Fraser, Chairman for Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, said: “I am delighted we have managed to organise this event at what is both an exciting and challenging time for tourism businesses locally with tourism currently on an upward trend but with visitors becoming increasingly discerning in what is a very competitive marketplace.


He added:’’ We have a great line up of speakers who will provide useful insights to tourism trends as well as providing practical tips on how to grow successful and sustainable tourism businesses capitalising more on the international brand appeal of the National Park. Some business advisors from Business Gateway will also be present to help local businesses at what should be a very informative and useful business networking event”


The cost is £10 per person, which includes lunch. To find out more or to reserve your spot, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01389 727761.

Tom Weir statue reaches 300,000 visitors

Wednesday, December 13 2017


An impressive 300,000 people have visited the Tom Weir Statue at scenic Balmaha Bay, which is preparing to mark its third anniversary later this month. The Loch Lomondside monument, paying tribute to Scotland’s most-loved mountain man, was unveiled to the public on Monday, December 29 2014, and has proved to be a runaway success.


The statue site has continued to evolve since its opening day, with the creation of a mountain garden named after Tom and his late wife Rhona, picnic facilities and storyboards. It also had donation posts installed which have collected almost £4,500 for the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs conservation and heritage charity, who together with Sandy Fraser, owner of the neighbouring Oak Tree Inn, maintain the site and meet annual costs.


The Friends worked closely with the Tom Weir Memorial Fund to raise almost £150,000 to transform the former run down picnic site at Balmaha Bay, which opened almost three years ago in front of hundreds of people wearing Tom’s signature red toorie hats.


James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends said: “The success of the site continues to exceed expectations and it has clearly captured the public’s imagination making it a top visitor attraction on Loch Lomondside. Sadly, Tom’s wife Rhona passed away this year, but while she was alive she regularly visited the site and was delighted to see just how popular Tom’s statue and the mountain garden were with residents and visitors alike.


He added: “The donation posts have been another welcome addition to the site, and have assisted significantly with the cost of insuring the statue and maintaining the site to a very high quality by our local contractor, Alexander Fraser and Sons.”


Susan Taylor, Administrator for the Tom Weir Memorial Fund added: “All those years ago when we first considered the idea of locating a statue in honour of Tom at Loch Lomond, we could never have envisaged the success it would enjoy in its first three years. Tom Weir is a hero to so many people not just in Scotland, but further afield, and the number of visitors to the site, as well as it standing the test of time in its first three years, proves exactly that.


“All of this would not have been possible without a hard working group of volunteers and the considerable help of many others, including the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, who stepped in to handle grant funding bids and coordinate the delivery of the project.”

Mountains and the People - trainee recruitment

Thursday, February 1 2018

Our friends at The Mountains and The People project are now recruiting their next batch of eight trainees, who will start work in April.

These posts will be based in Balloch and run for six months from Monday, April 23 to Friday, November 2 inclusive. More details, including how to apply for the posts, are available at

New online business resource for Loch Lomond tourism businesses

Tuesday, October 24 2017

A brand new online business resource has launched for the tourism community in the Loch Lomond, Trossachs and Clyde Sea Lochs area.

The website,, created as part of the Scottish Enterprise Tourism Destination Development Fund, is completely free to register and use; signposting businesses to news, events, training and hospitality business case studies, industry toolkits and more.

Registered users can also post jobs, business news and events for free, and in the longer term will get access to bespoke training materials and tourism business intelligence - all with the aim of helping tourism and hospitality businesses develop and grow and engage with their visitors.

Karen Donnelly, Destination Manager of Destination Organisation Love Loch Lomond said: "Through our work with destination organisation Love Loch Lomond and having engaged with the local tourism and hospitality business community over time, we realised that there was a real need for a 'one-stop shop' where tourism businesses can go to access all kinds of resources, news and events which can help them capitalise on business opportunities, training, and get practical information to meet the daily challenges of running a tourism business in 21st Century Scotland."

Karen continued: "We are delighted with the feedback received on the site so far, and we strongly encourage tourism and hospitality businesses to register for free, to join our business community and share their news, events and local job opportunities for our area - and take advantage of local business events and training opportunities."

Visit for more information and to register.

Volunteers help to open up views of Loch Lomond as part of special Make a Difference Day event

Wednesday, October 18 2017

Volunteers taking part in the latest ‘Make a Difference Day’, organised by Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent and conservation and heritage charity for the National Park, helped to remove trees and shrubs to open up scenic views of Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond along a stretch of the busy A82 tourist route.


A group of 30 volunteers travelled to Inverbeg, just north of Luss, to remove several hundred metres of overgrown plants and shrubs from the side of the road, giving motorists, cyclists and walkers clear views of Loch Lomond. Also, part of the day was a litter clearance exercise, which resulted in dozens of bags of rubbish being collected from litter strewn laybys and neighbouring areas beside the A82. This was part of the Friends’ ‘Windows on the Loch’ project, which aims to improve views of Loch Lomond along the busy A82 tourist route.


The volunteers came from a variety of walks of life including Luss Estates, the Department for International Development and Scottish Water as well as motivated individuals who volunteer regularly with the Friends and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority. The nearby Inn on Loch Lomond Hotel also provided shelter and complimentary lunch for the volunteers.


The event was the latest Make a Difference Day to be led by the Friends, and builds on the efforts made by the conservation and heritage charity in recent years with funding support from the National Park Authority to remove stretches of the Loch Lomond ‘tree tunnel’ which for years effectively meant there were no views of Loch Lomond along the entire twenty mile stretch of the A82 between Duck Bay, near Balloch and Tarbet.


In recent years other Make a Difference Days have involved litter and rhododendron clearance and path improvements works at different locations around the National Park with volunteers and corporate bodies helping to protect the special landscapes of the National Park.

Volunteers who took part on the day


Friends Vice-Chairman John Urquhart, who was among the volunteers who took part on the day, said: “Anybody passing this area of Loch Lomond now has a much better view of its natural beauty, and it is all down to the efforts of the volunteers, who turned out in force to ensure that this event was a great success. We even noticed passing motorists stopping in laybys to have pictures taken against the new backdrop!


“We were delighted with the response we had to Make a Difference Day, especially at a time of year when the weather can be so unpredictable. Fortunately, we had the elements on our side this time around, and with the hard work of so many people to open up views of the loch and Ben Lomond has made a real difference.”

Volunteers get to work


Niall Colquhoun, owner of the Inn on Loch Lomond, added: “We were very pleased to support the Friends and the volunteers on the day, helping the hard workers to enjoy a relaxed lunch in between their spells of unstinting efforts. The improved views of Loch Lomond from the A82 has already been positively commented on by some of our visitors and I am delighted with what has been achieved by the volunteers.”

Friends' response to Herald article

Tuesday, October 17 2017

The below letter has been sent to the Herald in response to their front-page article of Monday, October 16 2017.

Dear Sir/Madam,

The not so ''Bonnie Banks''

I was interested to read your front page article highlighting the stark claims by environmental charity Keep Scotland Tidy that ''Scotland is being choked by soaring levels of litter and filth which is creating an image of a country gripped by decline and neglect with rubbish and fly-tipping standards at their lowest level in a decade'' (''One million Scots living in dirty towns and streets'', The Herald, October 16).

This is a damning, but fairly accurate, indictment of the current situation which equally applies to popular beauty spots such as Loch Lomond and the busy A82 route corridor, as well as the communities in urban and rural Scotland referred to in the article. It also undermines Scotland's recent accolade as the most beautiful country in the world as voted by Rough Guide readers. How long before we are voted as one of the dirtiest countries in the western world which is a real possibility if we continue on the current trajectory?

In response to the unsatisfactory state of affairs on Loch Lomondside we organised a successful 'Make a Difference Day' last week which saw 30 volunteers from a wide variety of walks of life getting their sleeves rolled up and removing dozens of bags of litter strewn beside laybys on the Bonnie Banks as well as opening up views of Ben Lomond. We have found that direct action of this nature is often far more productive than making fruitless representations to public agencies appealing with them to face up to their responsibilities and to address the situation in a consistent and coordinated basis.

Sadly, many public agencies have become more skilled in passing the buck and hiding behind ''PR speak' rather than admitting there is a litter problem that needs concerted action with their involvement and resource commitments. To be fair, the National Park Authority has recently acknowledged the deteriorating situation with regards to litter and is making attempts to bring local partners together to try and improve the situation. The Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs has also called for a ''Litter Summit'' to be held soon involving senior representatives from relevant agencies and local community councils and businesses as the current unsatisfactory situation cannot be allowed to continue.

No doubt as part of the latest annual round of local authority budget saving reviews throughout Scotland the option of cutting back further on litter and cleansing services will feature high on the agenda. Based on the compelling evidence from the recent extensive Keep Scotland Beautiful surveys this would be a major mistake and would simply accelerate the further erosion of Scotland's environmental credentials and undermine the economic well-being of the country which is increasingly dependent on a successful tourist industry.

Yours faithfully,

James Fraser


Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs


Carrochan Road


G83 8EG


Latest Loch Lomond Passenger Cruise Vessel Launched

Tuesday, October 10 2017

The newest vessel to carry passengers on Loch Lomond has been launched, giving visitors to Scotland’s first National Park more opportunities to experience its natural beauty.


The MV Lomond Monarch completed the final leg of an epic journey from Loch Ness to arrive at her new home at the beginning of July, and was launched at a stylish reception at Tarbet Pier attended by dignitaries and officials on Friday, October 6.


Weighing 50 tonnes, the vessel measures 16.5m long, 5.3m wide and 6m high and will carry up to 120passengers. This brings the Cruise Loch Lomond fleet of boats up to eight with a total passenger capacity of 700 passengers to cater for a diverse range of tour programmes for UK and international visitors featuring Loch Lomond.

Stuart Cordner (left) and James Fraser (second left) launch MV Lomond Monarch, alongside Cruise Loch Lomond directors Fred Moore and Marie Cordner.


Stuart Cordner, Director of Cruise Loch Lomond, stated: “We are delighted with the latest addition to the fleet offering increased capacity for travel trade and flexibility for private and corporate functions on board.’’


He added: ’’The company has experienced a marked increase in visitor numbers in the last 12 months both from the domestic and overseas visitor markets which can be attributed to factors such as favourable exchange rates, successful overseas and destination marketing campaigns as well as an increase in flight connections to Scotland. Further investment in the tourism product offering and new collaborations with local businesses have also helped to make 2017 a positive year to date.”


James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, who launched the MV Lomond Monarch, said: “I am pleased to welcome this latest addition to the Cruise Loch Lomond fleet of passenger boats and wish this long established family business every success as they continue to expand and innovate to meet of increasingly discerning visitors to Loch Lomond.’’


‘’Loch Lomond is facing greater competition from other destinations and it is important that local business continue to invest in product innovation. Cruise Loch Lomond has done just this on a consistent basis over the years and this latest addition to their cruising fleet will ensure they are well positioned to grow their flourishing business.”

New Friends promotion at Loch Katrine to help fund lochside recreational projects

Wednesday, September 6 2017

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for Scotland’s first National Park, has stepped up efforts to promote its ‘making a difference’ agenda with the siting of three new attractive promotional posters at one of the National Park’s most scenic beauty spots.


With the support of the Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust, the Friends have installed three attractive promotional posters at busy visitor hubs on the shores of Loch Katrine. Two of the posters promoting the work of the Friends are now installed on the attractive pagoda beside Trossachs Pier and a third is on the noticeboard at Stronachlachar. Membership leaflets are also being distributed at shore outlets and on the steamship.


A donation post has also been installed following the success of the ones located at Tom Weir’s Rest in Balmaha last year. Any funds raised will be used for heritage and recreational projects at Loch Katrine.

Gordon Allan and James Fraser beside one of the new promotional posters at Loch Katrine with the Steamship Sir Walter Scott in the background.


Commenting on the Friends’ awareness raising project Gordon Allan, Managing Director of the Steamship Company, said: “We have worked closely with the Friends over the years and they have done a great job supporting worthwhile projects through the Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme which we have been pleased to support.”


Friends Chairman, James Fraser added: “These new displays will be seen by the 300,000 visitors who visit Loch Katrine each year and hopefully will raise awareness of the Friends as well as generating much needed funds for projects around the loch which will increase visitor enjoyment of this special place.”


For more information on the Friends, call 01389 727761, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Funding boost for National Park mountain path repairs

Wednesday, September 6 2017

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for Scotland’s first National Park, is supporting efforts to improve mountain paths in both of Scotland’s National Parks with a pledge of £20,000 over 4 years.

The Mountains and the People project is led by the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland working in partnership with Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and both Loch Lomond & Trossachs and Cairngorms National Park Authorities.  The project was established in June 2015 and has already undertaken a raft mountain path upgrading works in both National Parks. With a team consisting of both staff and volunteers, its work has included upgrading well used mountain paths in the Trossachs as well as recent improvements at the Lauder Monument path at Invernoaden in Cowal, which has seen the existing wooden steps replaced by sturdier stone ones.

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 out donations on overnight accommodation and menu items in cafes and restaurants.

Mountains and the People trainees at work. PHOTO BY MARTIN SHIELDS.


James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends said:’’ We are delighted to be supporting 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 heavily used paths throughout both National Parks.

“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 is excited by the possibilities that lie ahead for the Mountains and The People initiative which includes a range of opportunities to involve more people directly in caring for mountain paths in Scotland’s National Parks.

He said: “Already, within our first two years, we have seen the project grow into a thriving initiative which promises to deliver much more during its remaining period. Our capital and activity programmes have delivered over £2m of works to date and we have several projects in the pipeline. However, with over £3m work to complete in the coming three years that is where support from organisations like the Friends come in.

“We very much appreciate this generous annual donation from the Friends and thank them most sincerely for their support. We already have a strong relationship with the Friends – we even inherited our Balloch office from them when we were set up. It is vital that groups like these work together for the future of the National Park and we look forward to continuing this relationship in the years to come.”