Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs have joined forces with Port of Menteith Community Council to successfully bid for a NatureScot grant through the Better Places Green Recovery Fund to undertake a review of visitor management issues in the Lake of Menteith and surrounding area and to come forward with a practical action plan to address some of the problems created by growing visitor pressures.
A grant of £8,500 has been awarded to the Friends by NatureScot and ‘in kind’ support from the Friends and the Community Council takes the overall value of the project up to £10,000 for the detailed review which will be undertaken in close consultation with residents in the Port of Menteith Community Council area.
James Fraser, Chair of the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs said: ’’ We are delighted that the Lake of Menteith Visitor Management Project is being supported by NaturteScot and we are looking forward to working closely with the Port of Menteith Coummunity Council and local residents and businesses over the next couple of months to help identify and address some of the pressing visitor management issues being faced in this special area on the edge of Scotland’s first National Park.
We are also pleased to have recruited local resident Callum McNeill-Ritchie of Hushwing to undertake the important community consultation which will be the key to developing a consensus on what ‘light touch’ visitor management measures are required to improve the current situation around the Lake. Callum is a very experienced senior countryside ranger who has previously worked for both the National Park and the National Trust for Scotland and he, of course, has been well mentored by his late step-father, Keith Graham and regular Observer nature columnist, who was Scotland’s first ever Countryside Ranger’’
Jim Riach, a Port of Menteith Community Councillor said: ‘’ We are pleased to receive the backing from both NatureScot and the Friends for this important work which hopefully will result in the creation of a widely supported Visitor Management Action Plan that will help make a real difference locally.
We are a small community with limited resources and infrastructure. We hope that by creating and implementing a Visitor Management Action Plan this this will encourage more responsible use of the area and our unique but fragile visitor attractions. We want Port of Menteith to be a great place where local residents and visitors can safely co-exist and enjoy what we have to offer.’’