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KEEPING YOUR PARK SAFE OPERATION IRONWORKS

SCOTTSLAND

Celebrate the Trossachs

Going Green

Supporting communities

Events in the Park Something for everyone ISSUE 1 | JUNE 2010

lochlomond-trossachs.org


NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY MEETINGS 2010 All meetings are held in public at Carrochan, dates are provisional. Full details on our website (agenda and papers normally available seven days before the meeting). 23 June 25 October 13 December

NATIONAL PARK OFFICES National Park Headquarters Carrochan, Carrochan Road, Balloch G83 8EG t: 01389 722600 e: info@lochlomond-trossachs.org

ON THE COVER Luss Pier, Loch Lomond Photographer © Euan Myles

Callander Office 52-54 Main Street Callander FK17 8BD t: 01389 722600 Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway Loch Lomond boat registrations t: 01389 722030 National Park Centre Balmaha Visitor Centre t: 01389 722100

If you have an event or news you would like to include in the next issue of The Park, contact the Communication Team on t: 01389 722017 or email: thepark@lochlomond-trossachs.org Large print version available please contact t: 01389 722017

NATIONAL PARK RANGER TEAMS & BASES Our Rangers spend a lot of their time out and about in the Park. Please contact them though our main office number.

Editor: Sheila Winstone Designer: Paul Symington

Cowal and Breadalbane Ballochyle, near Dunoon Callander Lochearnhead

Printed on recycled paper

Published by: Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority © June 2010

Loch Lomond East & The Trossachs Balmaha Callander Milarrochy Loch Lomond West & Water Duncan Mills Memorial Slipway, Balloch Luss

We are a partner in Scotland’s Environmental and Rural Services. Find out more at: www.sears.scotland.gov.uk


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elcome to our new look magazine which brings you news from around Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. In these unsettling economic times, the National Park is a place where you can get away, take stock and recharge. We help provide the backdrop to your experience through conservation, visitor experience and rural development.

In conservation we’re highlighting some of our very special wildlife and habitats and just some of the work by partners to record and conserve them. You can help too by sending in your squirrel sightings, helping to spot dolphins in the Firth of Clyde or becoming a National Park volunteer. In this year designated by the UN as International Biodiversity Year, we also have a great programme of family events celebrating our wildlife, in partnership with Forestry Commission colleagues. Find out more on pages18-19.

We have just completed a mid-term review, which distilled this plan into five clearly-definedi priorities and we hope this will make its delivery much more straightforward and more measurable.i You can also read about some of the projects to improve access (pages 24 and 25). And find out about our plans with local Police Forces and other partners to tackle anti social behaviour and reduce its unwelcome impacts on the environment that we all come here to enjoy. In rural development we’ve also been busy. A consultation on the finalised draft local plan was completed early in April, so we’re now preparing to lodge the plan, along with any remaining objections, with the Scottish Government later this year. This plan is a giant step forward as it replaces four very different local plans from the local authorities and will help us deliver consistent and positive decisions on development control that will benefit the National Park, its businesses and communities. Read more on page 33 and find out about other aspects of planning control on page 34.

Biodiversity is life

Our National Park Plan 2007-2012 was developed to provide a rally-cry to partners and to focus their work in the National Park area. We have just completed a mid-term review, which has distilled the plan into five clearly defined priorities for us all in the coming two years. Read more about these on page 46. Of course nothing would be possible without the active involvement and support of the people who visit, live or work in the Park and care about what happens here. Whether you run a local business, volunteer for a community group, take part in one of the many outdoor activities or simply enjoy being in this very special place, I’m grateful for your support.

2010 has been declared the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations – the year that celebrates the diversity of life on Earth, including every plant, animal and microorganism. In the UK, IYB has over 200 partners ranging from universities, media organisations and museums to theatre companies and artists.

We plan to bring you two editions of this magazine each year. But if you would like to keep in touch with what’s going on, we’re also planning regular email bulletins between editions. To receive them, please send your email address to thepark@lochlomond-trossachs.org

Fiona Logan, Chief Executive and all the Team Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

They have come together to promote the understanding of biodiversity during the International Year of Biodiversity. This year is your chance to learn more about the rich tapestry of life around you, discover why it’s important for a healthy environment and get involved in monitoring and conserving your local wildlife. www.biodiversityislife.net


Ben A’an summit with views over Loch Katrine


Contents June 2010

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31

CONSERVATION Partners flock for wild birds – Glen Dochart waders and black grouse projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Trees please! – woodland history at Loch Katrine – help us map our heritage trees - The Great Trossachs Forest open for business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

21

36

Signs of the times – local schools measure the seasons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Saving red squirrels – meet the National Park’s red squirrel man . . . . . . . 11 Project powan – local schools rear rare native fish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

40

Aberfoyle osprey – David Marshall Lodge’s ospreys return . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Can you dig it! – community archaeology at High Morlaggan – Luss litter posters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Eco-Schools – National Park volunteers support school projects. . . . 15

28

Dolphins doon the water – help to monitor the whales and dolphins on our Argyll coastline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Park voles burrow forward – water vole reintroductions in the Trossachs. . . . . . . 18

VISITOR EXPERIENCE Respect the Park – Police forces working together for a safer Park . . . . . . 21 Loch shore investment – east Loch Lomond management and camping byelaw proposals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The loch and winding roads – long-distance routes in the Park . . . . . . . 23

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Business in the Park – new branding toolkit for businesses – new transport services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 National Park Local Plan – nearing completion following most recent consultation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Modernising planning – new processes and terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes (CARS) in Killin & Callander – stories in the stones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Communities driving forward – mapping community futures outcomes – grant support . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Access update – paths and signage around the Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Community update – news from around the National Park – tribute to Joan MacLean Davidson . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Our Park – business support scheme from the Friends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Green Community – on-the-ground climate change projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Opening up the view – West Highland Line views enhanced – bid for Dark Skies status . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

YOUR NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY

Events in the Park – have fun and enjoy the Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

National Park Plan mid-term review – new post for Park Convener – use your vote – tribute to Gus Lennox . . . . . . . . . . 46


THEPARK | CONSERVATION 6

The National Park Biodiversity Action Plan is on the National Park website www.lochlomond-trossachs.org


Our Biodiversity Action Plan pools the actions of a wide range of people and organisations to help protect some of Scotland’s most iconic species and habitats.

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he three-year plan includes projects that will help to conserve some of our most endangered bird species, such as black grouse and farmland waders. It does this by concentrating effort on improving habitats, and when a species such as black grouse need more than this, it has its own action plan.

Glen Dochart waders National Park Ecologist Gwenda Diack is responsible for taking forward our Biodiversity Action Plan. “One project that illustrates the benefits of collaborative work is the Glen Dochart Floodplain Project,” she said. “Here we’re working with the land managers in part of Glen Dochart to see what actions can be taken collectively to benefit farmland waders, such as redshank, lapwing, oystercatchers, curlew and snipe. “We started the project last year, when National Park Land Management Adviser, Linda Winskill, approached land managers within the project area. We had a really positive response and will work with them to support current and future management to benefit these species.” National Park and RSPB staff worked together on a survey of the floodplain area. This identified the main grassland and wetland areas being used by wading birds and will help to establish a baseline for monitoring change. Yvonne Boles from the RSPB said, “The area supports a good number of waders and all five species were recorded in the glen. This shows that previous management has provided the mosaic of habitats that the birds need. It’s important to manage them positively to enhance them for farmland waders and other species.”

All the waders like an open landscape of damp meadows and pasture with a mosaic of short and tussocky vegetation and shallow pools and ditches, as can be found in Glen Dochart. Within this though, each species has slightly different requirements. Broadly speaking, lapwing and redshank look for short vegetation with a few scattered tussocks for cover, while curlew and snipe like to be more concealed in longer vegetation. The survey information is now being used to discuss with local land managers the areas where wading birds would benefit from certain management, such as timing and densities of grazing. The National Park Land Management Advisers will also support the land managers to apply for funding to carry out the work through the Scottish Rural Development Programme’s Rural Priorities and Land Managers’ Options schemes.

before the birds start to display, then have to sit very still and keep quiet for a long time until the lek is finished. The records are collated by the study group and have helped to identify 15 key areas for black grouse in the National Park. This helps to inform assessment of development and land-use proposals within these areas, including Rural Priorities scheme applications that could affect black grouse. Using management appraisals produced in an earlier partnership project, the National Park Black Grouse Habitat Enhancement Project is offering more detailed advice to the land managers in these key areas. Early efforts are focussing on a 6,500 hectare area from

We’ve had a really positive response from all the land managersl we’ve spoken to and will work with them to support current l and future management to benefit these species.l Black grouse action Another programme focuses on actions to help black grouse which have declined in numbers across Europe and have been identified as a UK priority species for conservation. The reasons centre around degradation of their favoured moorland and forest edge habitat, including dense commercial forests, historic drainage, re-seeding for agriculture and grazing pressure from sheep and deer. Other significant factors include increased predation and the changing climate, with increasingly cold, wet weather in June threatening chick survival. For many years there has been a coordinated survey of known lek areas in the National Park. The counts involve staff from the RSPB, National Park, Forestry Commission Scotland, Woodland Trust Scotland and volunteers from the Central Scotland Black Grouse & Capercaillie Study Group. Each year in early spring, surveyors head out before dawn to the places where black grouse males perform their breeding displays to attract a mate. It’s no easy task as the lek areas can be very remote and surveyors have to arrive

Opposite page: Curlew. This page: top - black grouse, bottom - oystercatcher

Callander to Loch Earn where there has been a significant decline in black grouse numbers. National Park Land Management Adviser, Graeme Auty, is working closely with land managers to identify practical conservation measures such as grazing management, bracken control, restructuring forest edges, planting new woodlands, deer fence removal and fence marking to help prevent bird strikes and co-ordinated predator control. The National Park’s Natural Heritage Grant Scheme (see page 43) has already funded a range of black grouse conservation measures, as well as two workshops run by the RSPB that focused on the management of forestry and farming to benefit black grouse. This black grouse project fits within a wider RSPB project for Argyll and Stirling funded by a partnership of RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Power and GDF Suez. For more information contact: Gwenda Diack, National Park Ecologist, at e: gwenda.diack@lochlomond-trossachs.org

THEPARK | CONSERVATION

Partners flock for wild birds

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WOODLAND HISTORY AT LOCH KATRINE Dr Coralie Mills (pictured below) a dendrochronologist living and working in Scotland, tells The Park about the ancient woodland around Loch Katrine and what it reveals about the people who once lived there. Ancient ash tree over 300 years old

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ecent research, commissioned by Forestry Commission Scotland to inform interpretation and management, focused on scattered remnants of ancient woodland along the south eastern shores of Loch Katrine. Researchers, Peter Quelch, Coralie Mills and Mairi Stewart investigated tree forms, tree-rings and historic documents, along with evidence from the archaeology, early maps and place names. Their study uncovered much new information about the cultural history of the woodlands. Aspects of the findings were presented in two guided walks last year, one for staff of The Great Trossachs Forest partners and one for the public as part of Scottish Archaeology Month. The walks visited two woodland areas, one to the east and one to the west of the Bealach nam Bo or ‘Pass of the Cattle’, part of the old drove route along the southern shores of Loch Katrine. On the slopes below the Bealach nam Bo or ‘Pass of the Cattle’, part of the old drove route, there is an area of scattered ash woodland, close to the remains of an old farmstead thought to be Murlagan which appeared in estate farm rentals up to 1779. A building is shown here on Stobie’s map of 1783 but it had gone out of use by the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1860, a consequence of the transition to sheep farming from the late 18th century. Many of the old ash trees have forms suggestive of having been pollarded in the past, which means the branches were periodically cut above livestock grazing height to provide a renewable supply of fuel, construction materials and probably leafy fodder too.

Stubby oaks at Rubha nam Mucor ‘Promontory of the pigs’.

Tree-ring analysis showed that some of the ash trees started life in the 17th Century, survivors from the time when Murlagan farm was in use. Cyclical treering patterns in one especially large ash indicate the possibility of pollarding during the 18th Century on a 10 to 12 year cycle until the last event in 1790. Younger ash trees have grown up since then, descendants of the veteran worked trees. To the west of the pass, areas of upland woodland pasture along the Allt Chroiteagan or ‘Burn of Little Crofts’, descend to an area of gnarled stubby oaks near the shore. Historically, this area was within the Menteith earldom’s medieval hunting forest. While the hunting forest became neglected by the early 18th Century, the farms permitted within it, such as Glasahoile, continued in use through the 18th Century, with cheese being an especially important product. Glasahoile became a major sheep farm by the mid-19th century. Despite their appearance, tree-ring analysis of stubby oaks near the shore found no clear evidence of pollarding and revealed no samples earlier than the 19th Century. However, rot and

DID YOU KNOW?

Dr Coralie Mills - core sampling an old oak Photo © Coralie Mills

Dendrochronologists analyse growth ring sequences to provide absolute ages for past events. There are many applications, including ageing trees for woodland history projects, as undertaken here, climate reconstruction and in dating timbers in old buildings and archaeological sites.

Overgrown oak coppice, once enclosed, near Glasahoile South Katrine.

Tree-ring analysis showed that. some of the ash trees started. life in the 17th Century.. fused stems made analysis of core samples difficult, and the origins of these unusual tree forms are still open to debate. Grazing damage may have contributed to their appearance. Nearby, there is an area of overgrown oak coppice which has not yet been dated. Unlike the stubby oaks, the coppice was once enclosed, to protect it from grazing. There are a number of charcoal hearths in the area and the oak woodlands were undoubtedly managed to yield products such as bark and charcoal over a long period. Local 18th Century farm rentals required tenants to transport the bark out for the estate several times each year. It is also possible these woodlands provided fuel for the 18th Century iron furnace at Achray. South east Katrine represents an especially rich cultural landscape, and these historic woodlands have many more stories to tell. For more information contact Dr Coralie Mills, e: coraliem@hotmail.co.uk More information and photographs are at www.forestheritagescotland.com

The Great Trossachs Forest. heritage tree tour. Sunday 5 September 10am to 5pm, Loch Katrine As part of the ScottsLand celebrations (see p28), join Peter Quelch and Coralie Mills for a walk along the south shore of Loch Katrine to see heritage trees. Free event, but booking is essential: call 01738 635829 or email scotland@woodlandtrust.org.uk

All photos reproduced with kind permission from © Coralie Mills

THEPARK | CONSERVATION

Trees please!


HELP US MAPTHE PARK’S SPECIAL TREES

Giant Sequoia Benmore

Do you know a unique or ancient tree in the National Park? You can help us map where they are and hopefully help to secure their future.

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he most enduring living things on earth are trees. In Scotland we have an enormous wealth of ancient and veteran trees. We also have many heritage trees associated with particular events, people and folklore or are exceptional because of their size, shape, species or location. These trees are increasingly recognised as playing a vital and defining role in Scotland’s natural and cultural heritage. But the value and importance of these arboricultural heirlooms has not always been appreciated and many have been lost, particularly during the late 20th century. So we want to make sure that we know where every special tree in the National Park is located and what condition it is in. We’re continuing the survey that was started in 2007 when many of our readers contacted us with details of trees in their neighbourhoods. And we’re also looking for volunteers to record and monitor the trees throughout the National Park and will provide training and guidance where needed. In the National Park we have many welldocumented veteran and heritage trees, including: – The Balmaha Oak in Balmaha Boatyard, an enormous survivor of the coppice industry which produced tannin to cure the leather straps used in the factories of the central belt; – The Bicycle Tree at Brig O’ Turk, close to the site of a former smithy and still bearing evidence of the blacksmith for displaying his wares, including a bicycle; – The Fairy Tree on Doon Hill near Aberfoyle, a Scots pine of no great age or distinction but which legend has it is associated with the spirit world of elves and fairies; – The impressive Benmore Redwood Avenue at Benmore Botanic Garden near Dunoon.

Some lesser-known examples, which are no less important, include the elder tree in Drymen Churchyard and the Douglas fir in Forestry Commission Scotland’s car park at Milton by Aberfoyle, reputedly the first tree to be planted in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.

Poker-Tree Aberfoyle

Many others will be impressive specimens or linked to local people, events or stories that few outside the local area will be aware of. They may not be in obvious or prominent locations but may be found deep in woodlands, in churchyards or gardens, on public or private land. Heritage and veteran trees may found in abandoned wood pasture in remote valleys or on landed estates and designed landscapes. They may stand on the historic boundaries between properties, on old drovers’ roads in remote mountain locations or in and around villages. Wherever they are we would like to hear about them. We can advise on the management of these trees, although the very fact that they are still standing is testament to their previous good management. We plan only to document their existence and monitor their condition. Information about trees on land that is not accessible to the public will not be made available to the public without the owners’ permission. If you know of any trees which you think may be heritage or veteran trees or would like to volunteer to help with this project, please contact Matt Drew, National Park Ranger e: matt.drew@lochlomond-trossachs.org

One of the most significant native woodland regeneration projects to take place in the UK in a generation was officially inaugurated at Loch Katrine by Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham MSP last October.

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he Great Trossachs Forest covers around 166.5 square kilometres – roughly the size of the City of Glasgow, stretching from Loch Lomond in the west to Callander in the east. The legacy project by the Scottish Forest Alliance will potentially be the biggest broadleaf woodland in Scotland, providing visitors and local people with a range of opportunities to experience this iconic landscape. The alliance includes BP, Forestry Commission Scotland, RSPB Scotland and the Woodland Trust Scotland. In time there will be about 4,400 hectares of new or naturally regenerated woodlands and a range of habitats, including moorland, wetlands, grasslands and montane scrub that will bring significant benefits to biodiversity and provide enough habitat for species to adapt to climate change. A £1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will help improve the access and interpretation of the area and enable different audiences to engage with the forest.

Environment Minister, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, said at the project’s launch: “Maintaining, enhancing and expanding Scotland’s native woodland cover is hugely important for the health of our communities, our biodiversity, our environment and our economy.” More information about The Great Trossachs Forest and other Scottish Forest Alliance projects at www.scottishforestalliance.org.uk

THEPARK | CONSERVATION

GREAT TROSSACHS FOREST OPENS FOR BUSINESS

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THEPARK | CONSERVATION 10

Signs of the times National Park Ranger Adam Samson, based at Balmaha, describes a new project aimed at encouraging primary school pupils in and around the National Park to look more closely at the changes in nature during autumn and spring, a study known as phenology.

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ast autumn several of our Rangers started a long-term project with local primary schools that we hope will help us to better understand and raise awareness of the effects of climate change in the National Park and beyond. It links with the established Woodland Trust Nature’s Calendar project that encourages the public to record the signs of the onset of autumn and spring. This exciting project aims to stimulate pupils’ interest in the great outdoors and harness their energy to contribute to a greater understanding of how the natural world is adapting to climate change. The beauty of it is you don’t have to be an expert to take part. A set of simple guidelines covers a huge range of fungi, plants, trees, insects and birds. Nor do you have to live out in the countryside to take part as many of the species can be seen or found on verges, waste ground, gardens and parks in villages and towns. Over many years, famous scientists

and naturalists, amateurs, organisations and others have kept records of natural events in this country and elsewhere. These recordings have been used by scientists to show that over the last few decades both spring and autumn are arriving earlier.

pupils will share their records and compare results with other schools across the Park. This will, hopefully, bring disparate areas of the National Park closer together. The use of ‘their own’ website space could spark some new and innovative ideas from the pupils.

Phenology is the study of the times of recurring naturaln phenomena in relation to climate. Trees coming into leaf or then arrival of migratory birds are two examples. From Nature in a changing climate: Phenology uncovered by Nicky Souter and Kate Lewthwaite.

Pupils from 14 primary schools will take part in Ranger-led activities to introduce the project. Autumn activities included planting spring bulbs in each school garden, as well as introducing migration, hibernation and tree identification. In the spring they planted trees and investigated the signs of spring, such as wild flowers opening, swallows and ospreys returning and birds singing. The schools will register with the Woodland Trust scheme and send in their records to be added to the national data set. The National Park website will have a dedicated area for the project where

This is a great opportunity to encourage children to get out and enjoy the National Park while contributing to important ongoing research. But you don’t have to be a school pupil to take part. You can register as an individual or as a family. You might not think it’s for you but if you’ve ever thought, “Wow look at those lovely spring flowers!”, “Oh the swallows are back” or even, “Aren’t the trees looking beautiful this autumn?”, then it might just get you hooked. For more information contact Adam Samson National Park Ranger on t: 01389 722102 or e:adam.samson@lochlomond-trossachs.org www.naturescalendar.org.uk


Look out for signs when squirrel spotting...

The valued contribution that former National Park Ranger Gavin Skipper made to the conservation of red squirrels in the National Park in his role as chair of the National Park Red Squirrel Working Group will be built on in 2010. Gavin was instrumental in pulling together the Red Squirrel Working Group, Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and a few of the landowners in this area to explore how the good work that has been done could be integrated and further developed through the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels Project (SSRS). This is a partnership project between SWT, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Forestry Commission Scotland and the landowner’s group, the Scottish Rural Property & Business Association.

A Project Officer for Argyll and Trossachs has now been appointed to take forward the aims of SSRS and to build on the work of the National Park Red Squirrel Group in helping this endangered species. The Park Authority is supporting this project through a financial contribution as well as office accommodation. The Project Officer. Lewis Pate is based at National Park Headquarters, Carrochan. Other financial support for the project in this area has been provided by SWT, SNH, People’s Postcode Lottery, J &J R Wilson Trust and the Susan H Guy Charitable Trust. Dr Mel Tonkin, Project Manager for Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels, welcomes this new post, “The Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels partnership project is a strategic national attempt to secure the future of red squirrels in Scotland, by preventing the further spread of grey squirrels, which have been identified as the main threat to red squirrels, and by promoting the enhancement of woodland habitats to favour red squirrels over greys. We also

Both red and grey squirrels live in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and you can help Lewis and our Rangers map out where they are by recording where and when you see them. image © Neil McIntyre

support the work of the Red Squirrels in South Scotland project to contain the spread of the lethal squirrelpox disease in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, an essential part of the national strategy to protect Scotland’s red squirrels. “The appointment of the Argyll & Trossachs Project Officer will complete our project team. The new Project Officer will try to build on the excellent groundwork of the National Park Red Squirrel Working Group by expanding on their public education and squirrel survey initiatives. We will also be undertaking grey squirrel control in key places to prevent their further spread into Argyll via Arrochar, and into the Highlands from the Aberfoyle, Callander, Loch Earn area and hope to gain wide public support for this effort.” Lewis hopes to lead a coordinated and strategic programme of habitat management and grey squirrel control that will deliver real protection for red squirrels. Success will hinge on help and support from the public. He said, “We need everyone to keep their eyes open for both grey and red squirrels and report sightings to www.scottishsquirrelsurvey.co.uk. I’m also looking for people to participate in surveys and other practical work, particularly from the Arrochar, Tarbet, Callander, Lochearnhead, St. Fillans and Aberfoyle areas.” For more information contact Lewis Pate on t: 0131 312 4733 or e: lpate@swt.org.uk, or visit www.scottishsquirrels.org.uk

www.scottishsquirrels.org.uk

You can download a squirrel survey form from www.lochlomondtrossachs.org/learning/ When you are out and about in the National Park look out for these tell-tale signs of squirrel activity on the ground and in the trees. Pine cone remains

Squirrel drey (nest)

Split acorn shells

THEPARK | CONSERVATION

Saving red squirrels

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THEPARK | CONSERVATION 12

Project: Powan LOCAL CHILDREN REAR RARE FISH

Children from five local primary schools – Luss, Arrochar, Gartocharn, Drymen and Buchanan, recently took part in a one-of-a-kind education programme focusing on Loch Lomond’s aquatic environment and one of Scotland’s rarest native fish species.

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ot only were the children helping to save the powan, they did a practical, hands-on project that aimed to instill fascination and respect for their local environment. The project was led by Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust (LLFT) and funded through the National Park’s Natural Heritage Grant Scheme.

This whole programme is about inspiring the next generationl to understand the special nature of Loch Lomondl The powan is an ancient relict species from the last ice age that is native to only two lochs in Scotland, Loch Lomond and Loch Eck, both of which are in our National Park. Emerging research evidence suggests that the Loch Lomond population is coming under increasing pressure. Local children reared the fish over two months, by incubating powan eggs in small classroom hatcheries. Each week staff from the trust and National Park Rangers visited the schools, delivering a teaching programme about the ecology of the fish and the aquatic environment of Loch Lomond. The project was completed in March, when some of the pupils released over 200 young fish into Loch Lomond at Ross Bay and a further 200 at Cameron House. The moment of release was captured as pupils controlled an underwater camera which relayed footage on a nearby screen. Dr Andy Burrows, LLFT Senior Biologist spoke about the success of the project, “This whole programme is about inspiring the next generation to understand the special nature of Loch Lomond, its biodiversity and the fragility of the environment that they will inherit.

“It is heartening to see the genuine enthusiasm the kids have when they feel they are contributing to conservation efforts and helping to make to a difference.” The Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust is an environmental charity formed in 2001 to champion the conservation and restoration of Loch Lomond's native fish populations, their habitats and the freshwater environment. It is based at the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment near Rowardennan, where a major rearing programme is currently underway to establish new refuge populations of powan from both Loch Lomond and Loch Eck. Powan Fact File – Powan is a variety of the freshwater whitefish Coregonus lavaretus – Powan is a distinctive fish with a dark bluish or green back and pale silvery underside – Powan is a protected species (schedule 5 of WACA 1981) and must not be caught by anglers – Powan spawn in early January on gravelly shallows in the loch margins – Eggs usually hatch about 60 to 80 days later – They can live up to 10 years, in the right conditions – Adult fish live in deep water and feed on zooplankton and crustaceans – They undergo diurnal migrations following the zooplankton as it changes depth, particularly in summer when they move to the surface layers of the loch at dusk and descend to deeper water as it gets light. For further information visit: www.llft.org


THEPARK | CONSERVATION

Caper calls for quiet Y

ou may be surprised to learn that the islands of Loch Lomond - Inchlonaig, Inchcruin, Inchmoan, Inchconnachan and Inchtavannach are home to one of Scotland’s rarest birds, the capercaillie, sometimes known as caper. Numbers of capercaillie in Scotland have plummeted in recent decades, with as few as 2,000 left. There are only a handful left here in the National Park, and their future is uncertain. We need your help to save the capercaillie and make sure the National Park provides a safe haven for them. These are shy birds that are highly sensitive to disturbance. Dogs and people can disrupt leks (places where they gather for breeding displays) and scare hens, even causing them to abandon their nests or leave their chicks vulnerable to predators. Help us to allow them to breed in peace on Inchlonaig, Inchcruin, Inchmoan, Inchconnachan and Inchtavannach during April, May, June and July by following a few simple requests that will make a big difference.

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– Keep noise levels down – Avoid taking dogs to the islands – Keep to the shore, don’t wander through the islands With capercaillie being so vulnerable to what you do on the islands and with numbers in the National Park so low, we desperately need your co-operation and support. For more information, contact the National Park Ranger Service on 01389 722030 or RSPB Scotland on 0141 331 0993

Aberfoyle ospreys The David Marshall Lodge in Aberfoyle is home to the Aberfoyle Ospreys Project. An osprey’s summer season is all about raising chicks but every year is different and this year has been no exception.

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he season kicked off on 12 April when the cameras that monitor the nest were turned on after the winter and within hours both a male and female were spotted on the nest. This was celebrated with the Ospreys Return event on 17 April. The female was identified as the resident female to this nest and is ringed Red 6A; this will be her sixth breeding year at Aberfoyle. The male, who is new to the nest this year, is ringed Green DX. From this we know that he is five years old and is from this area. Towards the end of April ospreys were seen nest building and mating. The wait was over when the first egg appeared on 20 April. In the following days two more eggs appeared and it looked like a bumper brood! Everything changed though on 1 May in the form of an “intruder”. Another male

landed on the nest and we soon realised that he hadn’t popped in for a catch up! This intruder was planning on taking over the nest and the female by destroying the existing eggs. Over the course of the next few hours the intruder managed the kick out one of the eggs and to smash another. At this point everyone thought it was over but within a few hours of the intruder male being on the nest the original male returned to safeguard the final egg. So we are now waiting to see what is going to happen in the rest of the season on what has already been a rollercoaster of a ride. Why not pop in and watch the drama unfold on camera? And it’s not just ospreys - we also have cameras on a barn owl box, red squirrel feeders, a buzzard

nest and great tit nests. You can also follow the drama on line at www.forestry.org.uk/aberfoyleospreys or our Facebook page – go to www.facebook.com and then search for Aberfoyle Ospreys! The Aberfoyle Osprey Project is a partnership between RSPB Scotland and Forestry Commission. For more information contact Robert Fraser-Binns Forestry Commission Scotland t: 01786 229252 robert.fraser-binns@forestry.gsi.gov.uk


THEPARK | CONSERVATION

Can you dig it!

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Archaeology, Artifacts and Awards at High Morlaggan Historic rural life on the shores of Loch Long has been unearthed by a pioneering and award-winning group of dedicated volunteers, who took part in an archaeological dig during some of the worst November rain on record.

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he first phase of excavation of the deserted settlement of High Morlaggan by Loch Long was completed in November 2009. A group of 110 people, aged from 7 to 70, visited the site during the excavation. Just over 100 community volunteers actually dug. These included children from the local primary school and from two young archaeology groups, young people with learning disabilities and many interested adults. Two motivated local residents, Sue Furness and Fiona Jackson, asked archaeologists from Kilmartin House Museum to run the dig, which was funded by Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage through the Natural Heritage Grant Scheme. The High Morlaggan Project started from small

beginnings, yet in February 2010 received the Robert Kiln Award for the best archaeology project in the UK run by a voluntary group or individual. The award and a presentation of the project took place at the Archaeology 2010 Conference at the British Museum in London. Sue and Fiona said, “We are amazed by the response. We wanted to raise the profile of the many deserted settlements that are scattered throughout our countryside. People don’t give them a second glance as they are so commonplace, but they represent the heritage of thousands of Scots throughout the globe.” During the excavation, the project continued its traditional partnership

with Head Teacher, Alison Palmer, and the children from Arrochar Primary School. Pupils dug in trenches and washed, drew, measured, and recorded finds. On the dig, hundreds of sherds of pottery from the 1800s were found, along with metal tools, a pedestal pot, clay pipes, a cauldron (probably dating to the 1600s), and possible evidence of earlier dwellings. For more information, contact Fiona Jackson on 01301 702 259 fionaejackson@gmail.com or Sue Furness on 01301 702603 sue.cnoc@gmail.com

Pupils GRAB litter bugs Pupils from Luss Primary School used their creative and PR skills to meet a task set by the National Park Authority and Argyll and Bute Council’s Group for Recycling (GRAB Trust).

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he GRAB Trust had approached the National Park Ranger Service to take part in a joint grant-funded project by Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB), a bathing water litter campaign. Luss beach is one of the few areas in the west of Scotland that is designated as a bathing water area by SEPA and the Scottish Government. In fact it is the only one designated in a freshwater loch in Scotland. Along with Katharine Usher, GRAB Trust’s Area Education officer, Beverley Clarke, National Park Ranger, created a day of litter-related activities for the entire school. The children took part in games, activities and crafts all designed to help them learn about the effects of litter on the environment and wildlife and reinforce the special nature of their village’s beach They also took part in a litter pick of their beach and a survey of existing litter posters to help inspire them for the final task. With the thoughts of small animals trapped in bottles and birds tangled in plastic fresh in their minds, the pupils set

to designing posters targeted at visitors to encourage them to respect their beach and not to drop litter. The children also created a ‘Litter Tree’ with the help of an artist, to remind them and visitors to the school how long it takes for litter to biodegrade, or break down in the environment, and why recycling and disposing of litter carefully is so important The final posters were judged by National Park and Argyll and Bute Council senior staff. The winners were: Isla Scott, Hamish, Scott, Chloe Ramsay and Ellie Marsh, although the judging was very close and all the pupils put in an excellent effort. A big thank you goes to all the pupils and staff at Luss Primary for the time and effort they gave to the project. The winning posters went on to have official logos added and were printed in time for the launch of KSB’s National ‘Food on the Go’ Campaign at Luss.


Last autumn National Park volunteers were very active with EcoSchools projects around the Trossachs area. The volunteers led by National Park Rangers completed projects to enhance the environmental and educational value of school grounds. Inversnaid Primary School

Gartmore Primary Gartmore had its pond cleared out by the volunteers. For years this pond has caused concern due to the rapid growth of algae and jelly-like sludge appearing in late summer. Vegetation was cleared from around the pond margins, doubling the surface area and work was carried out on the pond dipping platform. Tim Messer, National Park Ranger, helped with the project and then brought his own children for a pond dipping session. He says, “The pond looks much better and should be great for the children at the school. We have found newts and seen a great diving beetle. My little boy Felix also found some long lost marbles.”

The pond was dug out to reverse the succession process and recreate a fantastic habitat for amphibians and invertebrates. An initial survey in spring 2009 confirmed the presence of frogs, newts and dragonfly larvae. It is hoped that by clearing out the pond the ecological diversity will increase and develop into an invaluable resource for the school. Ranger Craig Walker stated, “The volunteers have achieved good progress with the pond and they have also helped with relaying a bark chip path which looks great.”

Aberfoyle Primary New vegetable growing plots were installed and encroaching vegetation cleared from the ground edges. Last year the school grew some potatoes and some soft fruits. The installation of the new beds means the pupils can try for a wider crop and investigate further organic produce. Ranger Mark Millar also helped the school by installing a wormery, which will provide natural fertilizer for the vegetables. The National Park Ranger Service works with schools in and around the National Park area, helping with Eco-School grounds, Forest School development and Rural Skills projects. For more information on these school projects contact Craig Walker, National Park Ranger on t: 01389 722113 or e: craig.walker@lochlomond-trossachs.org See article on page 19 or more information on volunteering in the National Park Contact Zoe Morris on t: 01389722001 or e: zoe.morris@lochlomond-trossachs.org

A lot of bottle National Park volunteers and Rangers recently helped a local primary school to see the completion of a long-running project.

roof panels for the greenhouse. The school is fairly small with around 120 pupils, so collecting the number of bottles required for the design David found on the internet, was some achievement.

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It was with some excitement for the school that the day finally came when volunteers, Val Brown and Stan Campbell along with Rangers Steven Kenney and Bev Clarke, came to actually put the greenhouse together. Like all good flat-pack construction, a lot of discussion, deliberating and tea drinking was done. Once the first post was cemented in, there was no going back and by the close of the school day

or more than 10 months, staff and pupils at Kilcreggan Primary school diligently collected 1,500 plastic drinks bottles in their ambitious attempt to build a bottle greenhouse, as part of their Eco-Schools programme. The project was led by the school’s janitor David Reid, who patiently collected, stored and helped the children to construct the bottles into wall and

and just before the winter sun set, the school had its new eco-friendly, self watering, recycled greenhouse. The most credit should, however, go to David, whose excellent work in preparation for the National Park construction team made the job very easy and enjoyable.

THEPARK | CONSERVATION

Volunteers get hands on with Trossachs Eco-Schools

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THEPARK | RURAL DEVELOPMENT 16

Survey Sea Watch Foundation(SWF) /Mick Baines Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

Dolphins doon the water ! Whales, dolphins and porpoises are all in a group of marine mammals known as cetaceans. About 28 species have been recorded in British coastal waters but we know surprisingly little about which or how many visit or dwell in the Firth of Clyde, which includes Loch Long, Loch Goil and Holy Loch, the sea lochs that form the National Park’s coastline in Argyll.

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humpback whale was recorded In October 2006 in Loch Long over a period of between 4 and 10 days (depending on source), with excellent sightings from Blairmore pier. In June 2008, a Risso’s dolphin seen in the Firth of Clyde travelled up into the River Clyde, while in September 2009 a bottlenose whale swam up the Clyde to central Glasgow.

Were these visits a fluke?

Why do we know so little?

The Risso’s dolphin and bottlenose whale were probably one-off visits, given that both species feed on squid (which tend to be found in deep water) and both animals appeared to be in poor health.

For thousands of years our knowledge came from the species we hunted for oil, baleen (or the whalebone used in corsets) and meat, caught as specimens to satisfy our growing curiosity or animals accidentally caught while fishing for something else. Only recently have we developed the technology to catch and keep live cetaceans.

Bottlenose dolphins, porpoises and minke whales have also been sighted in the Firth of Clyde, some more frequently than others, but even then our knowledge about where, how and when these animals are using the area is limited.

By these means we discovered that, although cetaceans are mammals like us, at some point they evolved adaptations that allow them to live entirely in water. But we’ve learned little about how cetaceans behave and interact with their natural environment and whether our activities have an impact on them.

Bottlenose dolphins, porpoises and minke whales have beeni sighted in the Firth of Clyde, some more frequently than othersi

To help fill the gaps in our understanding scientists developed ways to observe and record cetaceans without interfering with their natural behaviour. This is achieved by surveying from land and boats with the aid of binoculars and telescopes. With the help of volunteers, scientists have collected invaluable data and the Sea Watch Foundation (www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk) now has records going back 30 years. These help it to identify changes in species, numbers and distribution of cetaceans in British coastal waters. While all reported observations are valuable, it is ongoing systematic monitoring that provides important clues about cetacean ecology and how changes in climate and pollution might be affecting the marine environment. Gaining local knowledge is also extremely useful for awareness-raising and educational activities and can, where appropriate, encourage eco tourism which in turn benefits local communities. Discussions with the Sea Watch Foundation, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, Glasgow University and desk-top research indicate that there is no systematic recording of cetaceans in the Firth of Clyde. Existing records tend to be of two kinds, part of student research programmes and therefore short snapshots or a few casual sightings submitted to the Sea Watch Foundation, either directly or through the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.


– A whale, dolphin or porpoise’s horizontal tail fins are called flukes. – Cetaceans' blowholes (or nostrils) have evolved to a position on top of the head, allowing more time to breathe out stale air and inhale fresh air. The species range in size from Commerson's dolphin, smaller than a human, to the blue whale, thought to be the largest animal known to have lived.

– As you might expect young animals are smaller than adults and often travel very close to their mothers, so it sometimes looks like one animal with two fins. Very young calves can be identified because their skin still shows lines of where they were folded up in their mother’s womb. – Some cetaceans are more prone to scars than others and these scars allow scientists to identify individual animals.

© Laurie Campbell Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)

– Mothers only have one calf at a time and continue to feed milk to their young for up to two years. Like most animals surviving through infancy is a tough challenge and mothers might use other strategies to help young stay SWF/ © Mick Baines Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) alive for example forming small mother and calf groups – Cetaceans are the mammals or staying close to inshore best adapted to aquatic life. waters when young are very Their body is spindle-shaped small. Those that survive it and the forelimbs are can have a life expectancy of modified into flippers. approximately 12 years for a harbour porpoise, 30-50 – Bottlenose dolphins can dive years for bottlenose for up to 20 minutes but dolphins and 30-50 years usually make shorter dives, for a minke whale. the diving duration of harbour porpoise may only be up to five and a half minutes where as minke whales can dive for 20-25 minutes but usually make shorter dives of 10-12 minutes. SWF/© Peter Evans - Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Mothers and calves

How can we find out more ? As part of the National Park Biodiversity Action Plan we are keen to encourage and support local volunteers to set up an ongoing programme of systematic monitoring using the benign surveying described opposite. Cetaceans have to come to the surface to breathe and this is the most common opportunity we have to spot them. To do these surveys sea conditions and visibility have to be good so locally based volunteers with the flexibility to respond quickly to changing weather conditions are crucial to success. National Park Rangers and volunteers have already started the programme of observations. All records will be submitted to the Sea Watch Foundation to contribute to the research of this national group and we will use them ourselves to further inform our biodiversity information and conservation activities.

SWF/ © Peter Evans - Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)

It is important to stress that taking part in the monitoring does not guarantee that you will see cetaceans. But, because these are systematic watches, nonobservance of animals provides equally important information.

Sea Watch Foundation/© Peter Evans - Humpback Whale feeding (Megaptera novaeangliae)

If you are interested in helping with this project and live near Dunoon contact Rowan Fraser, National Park Ranger t: 01389 722106 e: rowan.fraser@lochlomond-trossachs.org or the Cowal Ranger Team on 01369 705300

Working in close partnership with the public, Sea Watch is a national marine conservation research charity dedicated to the protection of cetaceans around the UK. Visit www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk for more information

THEPARK | RURAL DEVELOPMENT

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DIDI YOUI KNOWI

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THEPARK | CONSERVATION 18

Park voles burrow the way forward... Here Forestry Commission Scotland’s Trossachs Water Vole Project Officer, Anna-Marie Ford, tells The Park about a successful programme to reintroduce these charismatic little creatures to Loch Ard Forest.

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est known as Ratty in The Wind in the Willows, the water vole’s population has declined by 90% in the last six years. The American mink which originally escaped from fur-farming industries adapted to the same watercourses that were traditional sites for the water voles and have been their predators for almost 50 years. National Park Rangers and volunteers have been doing their bit for water vole conservation in the National Park. This fantastic little mammal is seriously threatened throughout Britain, mainly due to habitat loss and predation by American

A training day last spring showed everyone involved how to spot these elusive creatures’ distinctive field signs. It was the start of a huge summer-long operation to survey all the original release sites and the watercourses in the surrounding areas. We painstakingly searched 20 kilometres of river, ditch, burn, pond and boggy pool for droppings, burrows, runs and chewed vegetation, in sun, drizzle and rain! Thanks to this fantastic amount of help, we found positive signs of water voles at all the release sites. Even better, we found evidence that the voles have started to

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the varied activities. From bank-sidel detection to mink raft checking. And best of all the wild release ofl water voles after their final captive meal of Braeburn apples! David Milburn, Volunteer. mink, and has been absent from most of the National Park since the early 1990s. The Trossachs reintroduction trial aims to bring back a healthy population to restored, vole-friendly watercourses in Loch Ard Forest, near Aberfoyle. It is the first water vole reintroduction to take place in Scotland. The partnership project released nearly 600 water voles in the summer of 2008 and over 200 in 2009. It is essential that we know what happens to the water voles we release, so careful monitoring of the release sites and the surrounding areas must be carried out. With the project area covering over 50 square kilometres with extensive areas of wetland habitat, this is a huge undertaking. But National Park rangers and volunteers, along with the Forestry Commission Scotland’s project officer and other staff, rose to the challenge!

Project facts – 18 National Park volunteers involved at some stage – 8 regular volunteers – 15 National Park staff involved at some stage – 2 very regular NP rangers (Gareth and Jimmy) – 20 km of waterway surveyed – 586 water voles released in 2008 – 233 water voles released 2009

Project partners – Forestry Commission Scotland (lead partner and landowner) – National Park Authority – Royal Zoological Society of Scotland – Derek Gow Consultancy

colonise new areas of suitable habitat up to 2 kilometres away from the release sites. Rangers and volunteers have also been getting involved with mink monitoring. American mink is a non-native predator present throughout most of mainland Britain. They have a more serious effect on water voles than any of their native predators. Research shows that water

Release pens © Forestry Commission Scotland

– Scottish Natural Heritage – Kilgarth Development Company

vole colonies are very quickly destroyed by mink and are very unlikely to survive at all where mink are resident. A network of more than 50 mink rafts inside and beyond the project area need to be checked each fortnight for mink tracks. Targeted trapping is carried out where


© Forestry Commission Scotland

Gareth Kett, National Park Ranger

Anna-Marie weighing water vole before release © Forestry Commission Scotland

mink are detected. I have been really glad of the assistance given by volunteers and rangers in this vital task. Helpers turned out again in August to help release nearly 200 water voles. It’s not as easy as opening cages and watching them run (or swim) free! The water voles are transferred from their travelling cages into large soft release pens, which must be carried over difficult

terrain and placed in suitable unoccupied habitat selected by project staff. For a few days, the water voles must be kept well supplied with apples and carrots while they acclimatise to their new home. Next, wooden baffles are fitted to each pen to allow the water voles to make their way out in their own time, and finally the pens have to be collected in and stored. Volunteers and Rangers helped out at each stage, with excellent teamwork meaning that the release was carried out quickly and efficiently. In the autumn, the water voles finish breeding and raising young. It’s important to have a reasonable population before the winter as they naturally suffer up to 80% mortality over the winter. To learn more about our water vole numbers and densities, we set over 200 traps at Lime Hill in October. The traps were baited and provisioned with apple and carrot and plenty of bedding. Volunteers assisted with setting and checking the traps, although unfortunately very soft ground conditions meant that we had to keep numbers to a minimum to avoid damaging important water vole habitat. All voles captured were weighed, sexed and given an individual fur clip, so that recaptures could be identified. Twelve individuals were captured over four nights in one area of Lime Hill. However weather conditions and the risk of flooding meant

Volunteering in the Park T hroughout this magazine, articles talk about the involvement of our National Park volunteers. For example, the water vole re-introductions on this page, work with schools on page 15, clearing beach litter (page 43) and the Morlaggan dig (page 14).

National Park volunteers play an invaluable role, contributing over 2,500 hours a year in a wide variety of projects that help achieve National Park aims. Not all of these projects are delivered by our staff, but may be projects by others and promoted to our volunteers as they are taking place within the Park boundaries.

By becoming a National Park volunteer, you are kept informed of a diverse range of volunteering opportunities in the Park, from marshalling at the Caledonian Challenge with the Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, monitoring water voles with the Forestry Commission or red squirrel monitoring with the Scottish Wildlife Trust. There are also all the activities that we do, such as butterfly monitoring, wetland bird surveys, West Highland Way path maintenance and dark skies monitoring to name a few! As a volunteer, you will have an opportunity to get involved in a wide variety of projects and activities going on in the National Park.

THEPARK | CONSERVATION

lThe enthusiasm of the volunteers despite any combination of heat, cold, i lslippery banks, deep water and midges was inspirational. It’s been great i lfor us all taking part in such an important conservation project. i

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© Forestry Commission Scotland

that the remaining areas of Lime Hill could not be trapped. The results will still be useful and will be compiled into an end of year report. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped so far. The work is vital to measure the success of the project and will inform any future re-introductions elsewhere in Scotland. Mink monitoring and assessment of suitable vole habitat will continue throughout the spring and summer, with full training provided, why not get involved? For more information contact Anna-Marie Ford, Water Vole Project Officer t: 07909 892460 e: anna-marie.ford@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

National Park Volunteers on water vole survey

If you would like to find out more about becoming a National Park Volunteer, visit www.lochlomond-trossachs.org or get in touch with Zoe Morris t 01389 722001 email zoe.morris@loch lochlomondtrossachs.org


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THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE


THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE

Respect the Park and Operation Ironworks Three police forces, Central Scotland, Strathclyde and Tayside, are working with National Park Rangers and Forestry Commission Scotland for the third year running to protect some of our most beautiful places to visit from anti-social behaviour.

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peration Ironworks is a six-month initiative led by Central Scotland Police. It will provide high profile patrols by officers, special constables and National Park Rangers. The three forces will also carry out various initiatives targeting antisocial behaviour issues, which are often alcohol fuelled, including damage to property, irresponsible fires, litter, road safety, wildlife and environmental crimes and noise disturbance. Police and Rangers share information, attending sites where we know there are repeated issues of anti-social behaviour and ensuring a highly visible presence that deters mis-use and encourages

responsible behaviour. We continue to encourage everyone who visits the Park to “Respect the Park“. National Park Police Officer, Central Scotland Police Constable Paul Barr, whose post is funded by the Park Authority, will continue to support all visitor management activity by helping Rangers with problem sites, Operation Ironworks, liaising with the Police Forces and working with the Park Authority’s employer-supported Special Constables. He will also deal with all aspects of wildlife and environmental crime within the whole of the National Park area.

Some facts from summer 2009: – 6,000 hours of additional policing funded by the Park Authority – 16,000 hours of National Park Ranger patrols – 2,154 hours worked by on duty Central Scotland Police officers dedicated to Operation Ironworks. – 278 hours worked by National Park employer-supported Special Constables – 384 hours worked by regular Central Scotland Police Special Constables.

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SHOW SOME RESPECT HELP US SPREAD THE WORD

It’s difficult to measure crimes prevented, but the following are some of the actions last summer:

Can you display “Respect The Park” posters and leaflets?

Actions

Contact your local Ranger team, call 01389 722600 or email info@lochlomond-trossachs.org

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49 crimes committed and 182 other offences 77 people reported with 41 anti-social behaviour fixed penalties issued. 53 other fixed penalties issued, most for road traffic offences 11,336 vehicles checked by the Police 82.5 litres of alcohol confiscated.

The aim for summer 2010 is to continue to have a highly visible presence of Rangers and Police on the busiest sites and ensure that those living in, working in and visiting the National Park can enjoy it safely To report anti-social behaviour contact any of the agencies involved or information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. See also the contact details for local police on the back cover.


THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE

Investment for loch shore sites Camping byelaws

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E Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham MSP recently announced a £400,000 fund to help protect and enhance some of the most popular locations on east Loch Lomond.

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he made the announcement during a visit to Sallochy Bay and Milarrochy to discuss work already underway. installing a new waste water treatment plant at Milarrochy and upgrading toilet facilities are the first of many improvements planned for the area. The funding, provided by the National Park Authority, Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), will support a range of measures including site improvements, traffic management and improved visitor facilities.

The National Park Authority is working with Forestry Commission Scotland, Stirling Council, Central Scotland Police, SNH and the local community on proposals in a visitor management plan that will enhance the area. The East Loch Lomond visitor management plan pulls together all the proposed improvements for the area. Kevin Lilburn is Director of the Buchanan Community Partnership and Chair of the East Loch Lomond Management Group, which aims to improve the visitor experience of East Loch Lomond and

The National Park Authority, working with key partners, hasl long-term plans to make sure we keep areas in the park speciall for generations to come.l Ms Cunningham said, “We have some of the most spectacular, unspoilt landscapes in the world, including our iconic national parks which attract thousands of tourists a year and are essential for our rural economic development and recreation. “But welcoming millions of visitors every year means that this beautiful location is subject to a considerable amount of wear and tear – and it unfortunately attracts a small number of people who pay scant attention to the environment.”

reduce the impacts of visitor pressure and anti-social behaviour. He added, “The local community are delighted that the funding has been found to implement many of the improvements that we have been looking for in East Loch Lomond. The capital investment along with improvements in policing and the proposed camping and alcohol byelaws will help ensure a high quality visitor experience for people coming to the area and also a better quality of life for those that live in the area.”

arlier this year the Park Authority consulted on proposals to restrict camping in a 14 square kilometre area on the east of Loch Lomond, to help bring sites like Sallochy Bay and Rowardennan back to being family friendly and great places for everyone to enjoy. If introduced, it will be an offence to pitch a tent or set up any form of shelter including sleeping overnight in a vehicle in the restricted zone, except at designated sites. Existing commercial caravan and camping sites, including Cashel Caravan Park and Campsite and Milarrochy Camping and Caravanning Club, will continue to operate as before within the byelaw boundaries. We are assessing the 298 responses received to the byelaw proposals and will prepare a consultation report and recommendations for the National Park board to consider at their meeting on 23 June, where the next steps in the process will be agreed.

Alcohol ban

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tirling Council is also progressing plans to introduce a ban on outdoor consumption of alcohol in the same area as that covered by the proposed camping byelaws. Together all of these measures will help local communities, Forestry Commission, National Park Rangers and the Police to tackle the impacts of irresponsible informal camping and excessive use along the shores of East Loch Lomond.


THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE

The long and winding roads Tourism businesses in the National Park have benefited greatly from the world-renowned West Highland Way (WHW), which crosses the length of the Park on its journey from Milngavie to Fort William and generates an estimated £4.5 million tourism income for the whole route.

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s a partner on the WHW Management Group, we have a responsibility to manage and develop this strategic route. But we also have a wealth of other less well-known routes. Here, our Strategic Routes Adviser, Gordon Forester, tells The Park readers more about these routes and the essential work that is needed to keep them going.

Rob Roy Way

West Loch Lomond cycle route

www.robroyway.com This route, from Drymen through Aberfoyle, Callander, Strathyre and Killin to Pitlochry, is becoming more popular with Way walkers. Currently the route does not come up to official route standards but that is something to work on for the future as the popularity of the route increases.

Regional Route 40 - download a leaflet from www.lochlomond-trossachs.org Conditions on north section of this route have improved after negotiations with Transerv and Transport Scotland (staff in both organisations were extremely supportive). As well as grounds maintenance works viewpoints have been created along the loch side between Ardvorlich and Rubha Ban. Argyll & Bute Council recently sent in street cleaning vehicles to improve the old road section from Firkin Point to Rubha Ban. The National Park Ranger Service carried out additional work along the section from Luss to Firkin Point.

Three Lochs Way www.threelochsway.co.uk This new route was created and is organised by the Helensburgh and District Access Trust. It runs from Balloch to Inveruglas passing Loch Lomond, Gareloch and Loch Long meeting up with the Cowal Way at Arrochar to continue on to Inveruglas by Loch Lomond.

Cowal Way www.cowalway.org.uk The Cowal Way got longer in 2009 and now ends at Inveruglas allowing walkers to continue on to the West Highland Way by ferry across Loch Lomond. In the longer term there is potential to link the Cowal Way, West Highland Way and the Three Lochs Way to create a circular route in and around the Park and generate economic benefits that stay in the local communities. No formal management arrangements are in place as yet for the management of the Rob Roy and Cowal Ways. We’d like to hear from community groups or individuals who are interested in getting involved to maximise the benefits for their communities.

WEST HIGHLAND WAY www.west-highland-way.com The West Highland Way (WHW) continues to be as popular as ever and has been extended into Fort William town centre, making the route 96 miles long.

44% took the train to the start of the route – 86% would doi it again – 98% would recommend the route to others – i 45% of walkers are raising money for charities.i Path Upkeep

Official website & Pocket companion

The Park Authority is looking to improve the route by replacing as many small bridges and boardwalks as possible with a more sustainable, natural, low cost, low maintenance alternative. We hope to resolve an erosion problem at Manse Bay on Loch Lomondside.

The website, Pocket Companion and retail performance has improved considerably in the past year with all profits going into the upkeep of the whole route. More businesses are now advertising with us and we hope to continue that trend.

Transerv has confirmed that a long-term culvert problem on the A82 at Derrydarroch which impacts on the WHW will be the subject of a design and funding application to Transport Scotland.

A donation button has been added to the Official WHW website home page. This will be promoted in 2010 by supporters of the Way and hopefully result in contributions we can use to enhance the visitor experience by improving the whole route experience.

Improvements Along the Way On 22 May, East Dunbartonshire Council, a member of the management group, opened a new dedicated WHW visitor information centre in Milngavie town centre. New interpretation panels and an impressive double arch at the departure point demonstrate their commitment to this route. At the other end in Fort William, Highland Council is creating a new terminus for the Way, which includes a sculpture by artist David A Annand and a relief map in Caithness stone on the ground. The map was created by the National Park GIS.

Web statistics show that the largest customer base continues to be England followed by Germany, US, Belgium, Netherlands, South Korea, Canada and France. Recent press articles, free map in The Scotsman and television and radio interviews have resulted in a considerable increase in web hits and enquiries. For more information contact Gordon Forrester Strategic Routes Adviser t: 01389 727702 e: gordon.forrester@ lochlomond-trossachs.org

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THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE 24

ACCESS UPDATE Ardentinny coastal path A long-standing project to upgrade a final section of the scenic Carrick Castle to Ardentinny Coastal Path is now complete. The project, funded by the National Park Natural Heritage Grant Scheme and LEADER upgraded 1 km between Ardnahein Farm to Toll nam Muc to create a level, stone-surfaced path which will be easy to walk and won’t require wellies! This section of the route was notoriously boggy, crossing as it did, areas of exposed bedrock and wet hollows which never dried out. It made for an unfriendly introduction to the path if starting from Carrick Castle. Earlier work by Forestry Commission Scotland saw improvement of the longer section linking south of Toll nam Muc with forest roads near Knap and this northern section is the final piece in the jigsaw, creating a path that can be promoted to visitors to the area and capable of being used by walkers cyclists and horses.

The project was progressed by the Lochgoil Community Council with input from the Carrick Castle Amenities Association. UPM Tilhill were project co-ordinators. Thanks are offered to all involved in the project and in particular the adjacent landowners who both kindly agreed to the proposal and have been very helpful throughout.

Callander healthy walks Walk your way to better health, All walks are FREE and are led by a trained walk leader. They are short in duration, on pavements or hard surfaced footpaths, buggy friendly and don’t involve any mountaineering! Walks are on Wednesdays and start at 10.30am DATE

MEETING PLACE

ROUTE

16 June

G.P. Surgery

NCR76 East towards Keltie Bridge

23 June

Ancaster Square

Town Circular: South Church St, Creep, Bridgend and Meadows

30 June

Callander Meadows Car Park

NCR7 Towards Kilmahog

7 July

Callander Meadows Car Park

Town Circular: Leny Feus and Meadows

14 July

Forestry Car Park-Coilhallan

Invertrossachs Road and Loch Venachar

21 July

Callander Meadows Car Park

NCR7 towards Kilmahog

28 July

Ancaster Square

Town Circular: South Church St, Creep, Bridgend and Meadows

4 August

Invertrossachs Car Park

Loch Venachar

11 August GP Surgery

NCR76 Towards Auchinlay

18 August Callander Meadows Car Park

NCR7 towards Kilmahog

25 August Callander Meadows Car Park

Town Circular: Leny Feus and Meadows

For any further information on the programme contact National Park Callander Office on 01389 722126 or Tricia on 01786 432323 or 07717 544773 for more details. EVENING HEALTH WALKS IN ABERFOYLE

News from Sandbank

To book your place on the Mini-Bus (12 places) contact Craig Walker on 01389722113

The National Lottery has agreed a grant of nearly £10,000 for a feasibility study for Sandbank Community Trust’s proposed shoreline cycle and footpath from Western Ferries terminal to the National Park at Kilmun.

The Callander Heritage Walks are also short walks at a gentle pace on 8 July, 12 August and 18 September. Read more on page 28.

23 June Doon Hill Circular Walk Meet at Callander Meadows at 18:00 or Trossachs Discovery Centre at18:30

21 July Dounans Forest Walk Meet at Callander Meadows at 18:00 or Trossachs Discovery Centre at18:30

18 August Fearie Knowe Walk Meet at Callander Meadows at 18:00 or Lemahamish FCS Car Park at 18:30


Finding your way to Rob Roy’s grave, Balquhidder Glen and Lochearnhead has been made a lot easier thanks to the hard work of National Park rangers and volunteers who have painstakingly refurbished antique fingerposts near Kingshouse. The historic signs were taken down to the National Park workshops in Balloch, where the old paint was chiselled and scraped off. Great care was taken by the rangers and volunteers to stick to the original design and restore the fingerposts to their former glory. The scalloped fingers are cast in relief and the banded pillar has a large, red ball finial. The Milestones Project has been running for three years, with the objective to refurbish ancient signage around the National Park area adding value to the visitor experience and depth to its cultural history. The work is carried out by Rangers and National Park Volunteers and has so far mostly been targeted round the Trossachs & Breadalbane area. Speaking about the project, National Park Ranger Craig Walker said: “The milestones project has been running for three years with the aim of refurbishing ancient signage around the National Park. We’ve had great support from the local community who have stopped to speak to us as we’ve been working. The fingerposts have been transformed and will be a great attraction for years to come. Working in partnership with Stirling Council, we look forward to more local projects like this in the near future.“ If you would like to find out more about the milestones project contact Craig Walker on 01389 722113 or email craig.walker@lochlomond-trossachs.org

New bridge for Bracklinn Callander Community Development Trust has been working hard with the Park Authority with the vision of installing a new 20metre timber bridge over Bracklinn Falls where the previous bridge crossed before the 2004 floods. The vision is about to become a reality and work is due to start on site any day now with a project completion date before the end of May. Strong Bridges Ltd won the contract and it is hoped that their attractive, innovative and sustainable design will help transform Bracklinn Falls into a first-rate visitor destination with breathtaking views.

Gartmore wee wood Over the winter a path project in the “Wee Wood” beside Gartmore was completed, leaving an excellent woodland walk for the village to enjoy. The project, which included a new 6m timber bridge, 450m of path and signage, was funded by the Natural Heritage Grant Scheme.

THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE

Refurbished fingerpost points the way

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Core Paths Plan update Our access team submitted the Draft Core Paths Plan, along with outstanding objections, to the Scottish Government in September. The four outstanding objections were forwarded to the Reporters Unit for local enquiry. The enquiry process was completed in February with the reporter deciding the Core Paths Plan should remain unchanged. Consequently the Park Authority has received approval from Scottish Ministers and has been directed to adopt the Core Paths Plan. The Core Paths Plan will be presented for adoption at the next National Park board meeting on 23 June.

Callander paths leaflet Pick up a new leaflet in Callander, showing six superb paths, starting form the centre of the village, and ranging from 1 (1.8km) to 4.5 miles (7 km). It also points out 16 places in and around Callander of historical or geological interest. Based on earlier work by local enthusiast Ken Dunn, the leaflet was compiled by the Callander Woodland Link Group (part of Callander Community Development Trust) and produced by Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Park Authority. Available from the VisitScotland Information Centre in Ancaster Square or National Park Callander Office 52-54 Main Street. or download it from our publications page at www.lochlomond-trossachs.org


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Businesses get on board our park scheme Tourism businesses are demonstrating their commitment to sustainable principles in a new voluntary investment scheme to help support vital conservation works throughout the Park.

T

he new scheme, called ‘OUR park’ is being developing by Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, an independent charity dedicated to the conservation, enhancement and enjoyment of the landscape and wildlife of the National Park. ‘OUR park’ business members will collect voluntary donations from their customers that will help fund projects, which not only benefit wildlife and the natural environment but also enhance the overall visitor experience. Examples of priority projects identified for immediate support include: • Helping to safeguard protected species such as the native red squirrel through woodland protection and regeneration, grey squirrel control and installation of feeding stations • Increasing the biodiversity of the rivers and waters of Loch Lomond through habitat enhancement works, education delivery to schools and fish monitoring. It’s free for businesses to join the scheme and they can fundraise in a different ways. Advice and all fundraising materials are provided as part of membership. In addition to members knowing they are doing their bit to preserve this iconic landscape for now and the future, their commitment to conserving the natural environment of the National Park will be appreciated by their customers as and staff.

Other benefits include use of the scheme name and logo, free publicity and regular features in the Friends twice-yearly magazine VOICE and other publications, reciprocal web

Most of our customers come here to enjoy the beautiful landscape. the area has to offer and the scheme is a great way to give. something back.. links to the Friends website and green credentials such as accreditation towards the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Staff and customers of ‘OUR park’ business members will also be able to learn more about the natural environment and the work supported through the scheme by taking part in volunteer events. Examples of how businesses are already participating in the scheme include: – Cruise Loch Lomond, Tarbet - £1 voluntary donation on every internet cruise booking – Ross Priory, Gartocharn - donation pots in public areas and envelopes in bedrooms – Fascadail House, Arrochar - donation pots in public areas and envelopes in bedrooms – Gateway Centre, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch – donation pots – Balmillig B&B, Helensburgh – going one step further and matching their customer’s £1 voluntary donation on each overnight stay with another £1!

Wild Lomond - wildlife website launch

T

here is a new window on wildlife in the National Park as a result of a project just completed by the Friends. With funding from the National Park Natural Heritage Grant Scheme a comprehensive one-stop website has been produced for anyone living in or visiting (on the ground or ‘virtually’) the National Park and wanting to know more about all the fantastic wildlife species that live here. The site is has information on over 70 species that are live here and is designed to make it as easy as possible to find out more about them, where to find them and the best time to see them. The site was launched on Saturday 22 May, International Biodiversity Day. You can visit it at www.wildlomond.co.uk

Stuart Cordner of Cruise Loch Lomond says “We’re very excited about the opportunity to support conservation and enhancement projects in the National Park. Most of our customers come here to enjoy the beautiful landscape the area has to offer and the scheme is a great way to give something back. The scheme also encourages visitors to take responsibility for the continued enjoyment of the Park for future generations”. The ‘OUR park’ voluntary investment scheme is being developed initially in the western area of the National Park with support from LEADER Argyll & the Islands, the National Park Authority, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage and West Dunbartonshire Council. The scheme will be rolled out park-wide throughout 2010. Further information Alice Blazy-Winning Tel 01389 727761 or 07500 575580 or email alice@lochlomond-trossachs.org


Voted the world’s greatest rail journey – outranking both the Orient Express and the Eurostar - for the second year running, Scotland’s West Highland Line is renowned for its breathtaking scenery including the famous 21-arch Glenfinnan viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films.

N

etwork Rail, the owner-operator of Britain’s rail infrastructure, can only undertake de-vegetation work when it is essential to the safe running of the railway. The result has been loss of views along much of the length of the railway through the National Park, particularly in summer when the trees and shrubs are in full leaf.

Before de-vegitation

DARK PARK SKIES D

uring February our work on Dark Skies monitoring got underway with the valuable help of some National Park volunteers, who carried out light quality measurements. As a result light quality has now been measured at over a hundred sites all over the National Park at key sites including all settlements, car parks, visitor centres, lay-bys and other publicly accessible areas. In August once it is dark again a second phase will take quality readings in the less accessible but known darker areas. Following this all the readings will be analysed to define the core area and identify where further readings are needed.

After de-vegitation

As part of the National Park Authority’s ongoing commitment to preserving the area’s natural heritage and enhancing visitor experience, it has been working with the Friends of the West Highland Lines and Network Rail to identify sites along the route of the railway where maximum benefit could be achieved through vegetation clearance. An application was submitted to the National Park’s Natural Heritage Grant Scheme to fund clearance of scrub and natural regeneration over a 350m stretch of railway at Tarbet, to maximise views of Loch Long, the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond. Work got underway in February with the National Park’s Natural Heritage Grant agreeing to fund 85% of the project and Network Rail covering the remaining costs. Taking just five days and costing just £9k to complete, it is hoped that similar work will take place in other sections along the track to restore views along this iconic route from Glasgow through to Oban, Fort William and Mallaig. Norman McNab from the Friends of the West Highland Lines said, “This is a great result and the successful outcome could not have been achieved without the support of the National Park, the considerable help of their professional staff and, crucially, the positive co-operation and contribution from Network Rail." Information Sara Melville , Landscape Adviser, 01389 722625 sara.melville@lochlomond- trossachs.org

The Friends of the West Highland Lines promote development of the train services through the West Highlands. For further information contact Duncan Wilson www.westhighlandline.org.uk e: westhighlandline@btinternet.com

As the Park Authority intends to pursue accreditation from the IDA (International Dark Sky Association) as a Dark Sky Reserve we need to send these readings along with specialist photographs, taken with a fish-eye lens, representing the core area and a lighting audit. This audit of the core area is likely to be done by National Park Rangers following training involving a presentation and an outdoor session looking at local lighting. In the meantime, the Park Authority will continue to organise and support Dark Sky events to demonstrate that we aim to conserve the experience of the night sky in less developed areas of the Park, promote the value of Dark Skies and the perceptual qualities of the landscape: tranquility and remoteness and overall landscape experience. For more information contact Sara Melville, Landscape Adviser t: 01389 722625 or e: sara.melville@ lochlomond- trossachs.org Autumn Moonwatch Friday 15 October, 6.30pm to 8pm, David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle National Park Rangers and the Stirling Astronomical Society have joined forces to bring you a magical moonlit evening. There'll be talks, activities and displays explaining the secrets of the Moon. If it's a clear night, we’ll also gaze at our brilliant dark sky through telescopes. Booking essential, call Suzanne Humphris 01389 722104.

THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE

Enhanced views on West Highland Line

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EVENTS IN THE PARK T

his year we’ve joined forces with our two forest parks - Argyll Forest in the west and Queen Elizabeth Forest in the Trossachs. Our varied programme has something for everyone, with children’s holiday activities, guided walks, wildlife watching, cruises and adventure. And the fun is happening all across the Park. If you are organising an event that you would like us to promote on our website please send details to events@lochlomondtrossachs.org. Check our websites for up-to-date details and contacts for events all around the National Park www.lochlomond-trossachs.org www.scottsland.co.uk www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland International Year of Biodiversity 2010 is International Year of Biodiversity and we’re delighted to be partners. We’ll be celebrating the variety of life and landscapes in the National Park with many events throughout the year. Find out more at www.biodiversityislife.net Bikes, Banks and Braes Saturday 19 June, 10am, Luss Join a National Park Ranger for a guided cycle ride from Luss to Tarbet and back. Learn about local flora and fauna and enjoy the scenery along the way! Bring a bike, suitable outdoor clothing and a packed lunch. To book a place contact Douglas Adair, National Park Ranger 01389 727768. Heelster Gowdie Sunday 20 June, Sunday 18 July, Sunday 15 August, Sunday 19 September, 2.30pm, David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle Heelster Gowdie - the name means 'Head over Heels'- specialise in well known and well loved folk songs, delivered with cheeky chat and witty repartee!

Celebrate the language of the Landscape __

Celebrate Adventure Celebrate Culture Celebrate The Trossachs

Paddle Through the Past Sunday 20 June, 10am Join a National Park Ranger on a Canadian canoe trip on Loch Lomond. See the loch, views and wildlife from a different perspective. Booking essential, (there will be a charge for canoe hire) call 01389 756251. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Summer Starts Here Wednesday 30 June, 10am to 1pm Experience Bata Greine, the National Park's solar boat, on a gentle trip to Inchcailloch, an island in the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. Suitable for all the family, wheelchairs and buggies. Booking essential, call 01389 722030 Kids Summer Nature Club Saturday 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 July, 11am to 12.30pm, David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle A must for all budding junior rangers (7-12 years). Why not get busy this holiday and join Forest and National Park Rangers for some fun activities at the lodge and discover more about the natural world. £3.50 per individual session or £15 for all five. Booking required, call 01877 382258. Wild Wednesday - Kid's Nature Club Wednesdays 7, 14, 21, 28 July, 12noon - 4pm, Glenbranter Forest Office, Argyll Join Forest and National Park Rangers to explore the environment across Argyll Forest Park through a variety of exciting activities, challenges and minibus safaris. A different theme each week. £3 per child (8-12) per session. Booking essential, call Steve 01786 220222. Callander Heritage Walk Thursday 8 July, 2 pm National Park Office Callander Walk with National Park Rangers around the historic centre of Callander and discover the stories in the stones. Suitable for all the family, route suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. Booking essential, call 01389 722600 or email info@lochlomond-trossachs.org

Activ8 Saturday 24 July, 11am to 5pm Enjoy the stunning natural environment of Cowal and learn from local and national outdoor pursuits experts. If you've ever wanted to try rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking or orienteering, come along to this action-packed day for all the family. Free, but there may be a small charge for some activities. More information from Jim Downie 01389 727736 First Flight First Splash Saturday 31 July & Sunday 1 August, 4.30pm to 7.30pm, David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle Join a Forest Ranger to find osprey chicks taking their first flights and honing their hunting techniques before setting off on their long migration to Africa. £10/£5 per person under 14's go free Minibus tour, maximum 16 people, early booking recommended, call 01877 382258. From Small Acorns. Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 August, 10am to 4pm, Hunters Quay Holiday Village, Dunoon Free indoor and outdoor activities. Enjoy the rare opportunity of a guided minibus tour into the quiet woods on the side of Loch Eck. This event is run by Cowal Leisure Ltd in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland. Clanscape at Tarbet Gala Saturday 7 August, 11am to 4pm, Tarbet, west Loch Lomond Take a step back in time on a guided tour of the sights, smells and sounds of living history. Check out the highland encampment and the activities that were once a part of everyday life. Entry charge to Tarbet Gala. Clanscape at Killin Sunday 8 August, 12noon to 4pm, Breadalbane Park, Killin Step back in time to discover how we used to live. Have a go at archery, soap-making, willow working, carving, natural dyeing, oatcake making, green woodworking and much more. Check out the highland encampment and listen to tall tales. Free family event, no booking required.

ScottsLand – marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott's poem Lady of the Lake, which transformed popular perspectives on landscape and generated the first surge of tourists to the Trossachs and Scotland. From June to October 2010 ScottsLand, a diverse programme of cultural and literary events, promoted by Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, will take place throughout the Trossachs to celebrate the poem, the heritage and the landscapes. They include: an art and literary trail, The Chase sports event, a film festival, a literary conference and a host of exhibitions, guided walks and cruises. Full programme at www.scottsland.co.uk


Monday 26 July to Sunday 1 August UK-wide celebration of our National Parks and their rich history and cultural heritage. Find out more at www.anpa.gov.uk John Muir - His Life and Times Monday 26 July to Sunday 1 August, National Park Centre, Balmaha An exhibition about John Muir, a Scot from Dunbar who was one of the founding fathers of the great Parks in the USA and the worldwide National Parks movement. Information about the John Muir Trust, the John Muir Award Scheme and stunning images from Yosemite National Park. Further information 01389 722100

Loch Katrine & ScottsLand Tour Wednesday 28 July, 10am to 2pm A tour of some of the places that inspired Sir Walter Scott's epic poem The Lady of the Lake, published 200 years ago - more at www.scottsland.co.uk. Part minibus and part walking. Suitable for all the family. Booking essential, call 01389 722600 or email info@lochlomond-trossachs.org.

Inchcailloch Heritage Wednesday 28 July, 11am and 2pm, Inchcailloch in Loch Lomond Take a short walk with National Park Rangers to discover how people used to live on this island in Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. Free of charge, but you will have to pay for the ferry from Macfarlane's boatyard (01360 870214 email boatyard@balmaha.orangehome.co.uk to book) Booking essential, call 01389 722100.

Bat Walk Tuesday 10 August, evening, National Park Centre Luss Join National Park Rangers for a talk on British bats followed by a guided walk as we take our bat detectors and listen for the feeding sounds of the local bat population. Suitable for all the family Booking essential, call Steven Kenney 01389 727123

Highland Games and Agricultural Shows Luss Highland Games Saturday 3 July www.lusshighlandgames.co.uk/ Lochearnhead Shears Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 July, Lochearnhead Games Field www.lochearnheadshears.org Loch Lomond Highland Games Saturday 17 July, Moss o’ Balloch Park www.llhgb.com Rob Roy Highland Games Sunday 18 July, Kinlochard Village Hall Field www.kinlochard.org/events.html Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Highland Games Saturday 24 July www.lochearnheadhighlandgames.co.uk Callander World Highland Games Saturday 31 July & Sunday 1 August www.callanderhighlandgames.co.uk Killin International Highland Games Wednesday 4 August www.killingames.co.uk Arrochar & Tarbet Gala Saturday 7 August www.arrocharandtarbet.co.uk Cowal Highland Gathering Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 August, Dunoon www.cowalgathering.com

Callander Heritage Walk Thursday 12 August, 2pm, National Park Office Callander Walk with National Park Rangers around the historic centre of Callander and discover the stories in the stones. Suitable for all the family, route suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. Booking essential, call 01389 722600 or email info@lochlomond-trossachs.org Bat Walk Thursday 26 August, evening, Three Villages Hall, Arrochar Join National Park Rangers for a talk on British bats followed by a guided walk as we take our bat detectors and listen for the feeding sounds of the local bat population. Suitable for all the family. Booking essential, call Steven Kenney 01389 727123. September Sail Wednesday 1 September, 10am to 1pm Experience Bata Greine, the National Park's solar boat, on a gentle trip to Inchcailloch, an island, in the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. Suitable for all the family, wheelchairs and buggies. Booking essential, call 01389 722030.

Bat Watch, Argyll Forest Park Wednesdays 1 (Glenbranter Information Centre), 8 (Ardentinny Car Park) and 15 September (Kilbride Car Park, Dunoon.), 7.30pm till late Meet local bat experts and find out more about these incredible, elusive creatures and their habitats with a talk and guided walk. £5 per person (children free - must be accompanied by an adult) Booking essential, call Steve 01786 220222. Bat Watch (Queen Elizabeth Forest) Wednesday 1 & 8 September, 7.30pm till late, David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle Find out more about bats in the forest with a talk and guided walk. £5 per adult, children under 14 free. Booking essential, call 01877 382258.

Inchcailloch Festival Saturday and Sunday 4 & 5 September, 10.30, 10 and 2.30, Balmaha Experience this special island in the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve in the company of some of the characters who use to live here: the boatman, the minister who brought his flock across from the mainland each Sunday, the farmer who worked the land and mourners at a funeral. Free of charge, but you will have to pay for the ferry from Macfarlane's boatyard (call 01360 870214 or email boatyard@balmaha.orangehome.co.uk to book) Booking essential, call 01389 722100 Trossachs Classic Car Run Sunday 12 September View classic cars as they tour the Trossachs in the fourth annual National Park Classic Car Run, organised by the Caledonian Motor Sport Club. Route details and where to see the cars gather will be on the National Park website (www.lochlomond-trossachs.org) in the week before the event. Entry details at www.caledonianmsc.freeuk.com Trossachs Doors Open Days Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 September, times vary Doors Open Days is a national celebration of our built heritage and history, with buildings and sites not normally open to the public or normally charging, open for free. This year’s National Park programme will highlight sites related to Scott and his stories. Full programme at www.doorsopendays.org.uk from July. Callander Heritage Walk Saturday and Sunday 18 & 19 September, 2pm, National Park Office, Callander Walk with National Park Rangers around the historic centre of Callander and discover the stories in the stones. Suitable for all the family, route suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. Booking essential, call 01389 722600 or email info@lochlomond-trossachs.org

THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE

National Parks Week

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THEPARK | VISITOR EXPERIENCE 30

Iron Giants Sunday 19 September, 11am to 4pm, Ardnadam Heritage Trail, Sandbank, near Dunoon Could you have survived the Iron Age? There'll be lots of hands-on activities to try while you discover the secrets of our ancestors. Organised by National Park Rangers and Cowal Archaeological Society as part of Scottish Archaeology Month. No booking required, suitable for all the family. Loch Katrine & ScottsLand Tour Wednesday 22 September, 10am to 2pm A tour of some of the places that inspired Sir Walter Scott's epic poem Lady of the Lake, published 200 years ago - more at www.scottsland.co.uk. Part minibus and part walking. Booking essential, call 01389 722600 or email info@lochlomond-trossachs.org Deer Rut Weekend Saturday 2 & Sunday 3 October, 3pm to 7pm, David Marshall Lodge Enjoy an excursion into the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park with the Forest Ranger and experience the sounds of the Autumn Rut. Hill walking requiring a reasonable level of fitness, walking boots and waterproofs. £12 per person, concession and accompanied children over ten £10. Booking required, call 01877 382258.

Nuts About Squirrels, Queen Elizabeth Forest Sunday 3 October, 11am to 4pm, David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle Come and celebrate Red Squirrel Week with Forestry Commission and National Park Rangers. Find out more about our bushy-tailed friends and take part in squirrel-related activities for all the family. Join us on guided walks( 2 Km – 1 mile on forest tracks) to look for squirrel signs and visit a viewing hide. Nuts About Squirrels, Argyll Forest Saturday 9 October, 11am to 4pm, Glenbranter Information Room, Argyll Cute, aren't they! But where do they live? What do they eat? Are any of them actually called Tufty? How much do you really know about red squirrels? Come along and join Forestry Commission and National Park Rangers and other local experts to enjoy a day of russet related recreation. Fun family activities and guided walks to our two viewing hides to hopefully watch some of the Glenbranter squirrels in action. Autumn Moonwatch Friday 15 October, 6.30pm to 8pm, David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle National Park Rangers and the Stirling Astronomical Society have joined forces to bring you a magical moonlit evening. There'll be talks, activities and displays explaining the secrets of the Moon. If it's a clear night, we'll also gaze at our brilliant dark sky through telescopes. Booking essential, call Suzanne Humphris 01389 722104.

Katrine Colours Cycle Saturday 16 October, 9.30am to 3pm, Trossachs Pier Enjoy the autumn tree colours at beautiful Loch Katrine on the Steamship Sir Walter Scott to Stronachlachar and then cycle the 12 miles return trip. Cycle hire and boat trip included. £24 per adult, £16 per child (must be accompanied by a participating adult). Booking essential, call 01877 382258. Fungi Fact & Fiction Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 October, 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm, David Marshall Lodge Guided walks in the Trossachs Mushroom Festival - our ancestors were experts at foraging for everything they needed from what was growing around them. From food or fuel through roofing or ropes to myths and medicines. Join Arthur Jones of Trossachs Treks for an exploration of how common plants were put to good use. £7 per person. Booking required, call 01877 382258. Halloween Ghostly Walks Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October, every half hour from 6.30pm to 8pm, Gateway Centre outdoor area, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch This fun family event brings to life the folklore and traditions surrounding All Hallow's Eve and Samhain, the ancient Celtic harvest festival. Fancy dress optional Unsuitable for very young children and buggies. Booking essential, call 01389 722030 (from 1 October).

Arts, Food, Music & Walking Festivals LOCH LOMOND FARMERS' MARKET 1st & 3rd Sunday each month, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch Features 30 regular stallholders: cheese and chocolate, producers of organic eggs, beef, lamb, pork, smoked foods, seafood, jams, confectionery and home baking. www.lochlomondshores.com LOMOND JAZZ 19 to 20 June, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch In conjuction with Glasgow Jazz Festival www.lochlomondshores.com BALQUHIDDER SUMMER MUSIC Sundays 27 June, 4,11,18, 25 July & 1 August, Balquhidder Church Relax and enjoy classical music performances in scenic surroundings. www.balquhiddersummermusic.org.uk

LOMOND FOLK FESTIVAL 30 July to 1 August, Moss o’ Balloch, Balloch www.lomondfolkfestival.com BRIG O' TURK CRAFT FAIR 16 June, Brig O' Turk Village Hall Loch Lomond Craft Association fair, original, hand-made items to view and buy. www.lochlomondcraft.org FESTIVE WEEKEND 13 to 15 August, St Fillans Annual village fun weekend with cricket match. live bands and hog roast. www.robroycountry.com CONTINENTAL MARKET 19 & 22 August, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch A variety of continental food, clothing and objects from around the world www.lochlomondshores.com LOCH LOMOND FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL 18 & 19 September, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch Features a vast range of local food and drink producers, demonstrations by top chefs, food and drink tastings and more. www.lochlomondfoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk CALLANDER JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL 1, 2 & 3 October, Callander and the Trossachs Over 50 live gigs: big bands, trad bands, jazz combos, vocalists and blues bands. www.callanderjazz.com

TROSSACHS OPEN STUDIOS 1 to 3 October Visit artists at their work and find out what inspires them. www.trossachsopenstudios.co.uk COWALFEST WALKING AND ARTS FESTIVAL 8 to 17 October, Cowal peninsula, Argyll A packed programme of walks, exhibitions and events reflecting a rich heritage, fascinating history and cultural links set in breathtaking scenery. www.cowalfest.org CRIEFF AND STRATHEARN DROVERS’ TRYST 9 to 17 October, Crieff and Strathearn, including St Fillans A walking festival that recreates the atmosphere of the droving days of Scotland without the inconvenience of 30,000 cattle! www.droverstryst.co.uk ABERFOYLE MUSHROOM FESTIVAL 21 to 24 October, Aberfoyle and the Trossachs The theme for 2010 is a flavour of Hong Kong with dragon boat racing, chinese banquet, lion dancers and mushroom forays, Wok to Walk. www.mushroomfestival.co.uk

We’ve made every effort to make sure the details of events on these pages are accurate. Details may change so please check with organisers or our website to confirm before making plans. The National Park Authority is not responsible for events organised by others.


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Business in the Park Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is nationally and internationally recognised as a world-class tourism destination as well as an area of outstanding natural beauty and cultural vibrancy.

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he vision of the Park is to enhance powerful, memorable and unique experiences for our visitors to engage the senses and enhance awareness and understanding of the Park’s special qualities. Tourism businesses throughout the Park will soon have an opportunity to promote and position their product through the launch of a new Business Toolkit. Businesses can now use the National Park’s brand identity to maximise the benefits of being an operator within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

The toolkit includes a number of new features including a bespoke National Park Business logo with information and guidelines on how to use it. It will include recently-commissioned, royalty free images, lots of useful information about the Park as well as “Top Tens” of things to see and do. Working in collaboration with partners, we’ve recently launched a ‘Sustainable Tourism Business for Dummies’ booklet which can also be

downloaded from the online toolkit. This great little publication is filled with useful tips and information about how to improve the sustainability of a business through efficient resource management, cost-saving activities and working with the local community. More features will be added to the Toolkit in the coming months and years to help businesses use this global brand for their own promotional benefit. For more information contact, Elspeth McLachlan Brand & Tourism Manager t: 01389 722037 e: elspeth.mclachlan@lochlomondtrossachs.org

Trossachs DRT

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ou can now travel throughout the Trossachs area on a new flexible service, the Trossachs Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) scheme. DRT schemes are organised in rural areas where commercial or conventional bus operators are unable to provide bus services. Local taxi or minibus operators provide a link to conventional bus services for the price of a bus fare and National Entitlement Cards are accepted as on bus services.

New Loch Lomond ferry service

The Trossachs DRT service is available Monday to Saturday between 7am and 9.30pm.

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While bookings should be made 24 hours in advance, every effort will be made to accommodate passengers making bookings at shorter notice. There is no service on 25 and 26 December or 1 and 2 January. Bookings can be made by: t: 0844 567 5670 e: sales@aberfoylecoaches.com w: www.aberfoylecoaches.com txt: 0844 567 5670

he National Park Authority has been working with Scottish Enterprise to set up new pilot ferry services on Loch Lomond. Following research, two routes have been chosen: a small triangular service connecting Balloch, Balloch Castle Country Park and Cameron House and a longer service from Balloch to Balmaha with alternative legs connecting to Luss and Rowardennan. At the time of writing tenders for running the service for six weeks over the summer are due to go out. Final arrangements will be advertised throughout the Park. These services

will be a useful addition to water transport on Loch Lomond. They will improve links across the loch, reducing pressure on the roads, while giving a new visitor experience and helping to boost the economy of the area. Full details of the service will appear on our website and in leaflets available from visitor centres around the area. Nigel Brooks Transport & Sustainable Tourism Adviser t: 01389 722004 e: nigel.brooks@lochlomond-trossachs.org

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The preparation of the National Park’s first Local Plan - a development strategy and policy framework for new development - reached an important milestone this year. The Finalised Draft Plan was issued for consultation between 19 February and 6 April after being approved by the National Park’s board in December.

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he National Park Authority’s statutory functions include the same planning functions as council planning authorities, with responsibility for both determining all planning applications and preparing a Local Plan, which forms the basis for their determination. Scottish National Park Authorities have a significant difference because they have a statutory requirement in their planning responsibilities to deliver the aims set out in the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000).

NATIONAL PARKS (SCOTLAND) ACT 2000 It sets out four statutory aims for National Parks in Scotland. – To conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area, – To promote sustainable use of natural resources of the area, – To promote understanding and enjoyment (including enjoyment in the form of recreation) of the special qualities of the area by the public, – To promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities. These aims are to be pursued collectively. However, if it appears that there is conflict between the first aim, the conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural heritage, and any of the others, we must give greater weight to the first aim (Section 9(6) of the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000). This is often referred to as the Sandford Principle. The scope of the Act's statutory aims also sets Scotland's National Parks apart from those of England and Wales, as we are required to also promote sustainable use of natural resources, the sustainable economic and social development of local communities.

Initial publicity and engagement implementation, monitoring and review of Local Plan

Preparation and publication for consultation of Draft Local Plan

Adoption of Local Plan Examination of finalised draft Local Plan (if required)

Place finalised draft Local Plan on deposit for formal objections

Modifications and preparation of finalised draft Local Plan

Finalised Draft Local Plan The Finalised Draft Local Plan was published in February. This important piece of work will guide the National Park’s rural development strategy for the next five years. Fiona Logan, Chief Executive, said, “The Finalised Draft Local Plan is the culmination of almost three years work by National Park staff and takes into consideration the balance between protecting the environment and encouraging rural development. We received almost 500 responses including over 2,000 individual comments on the draft plan which we worked hard to address. We have considered every objection from local authorities, communities and Government agencies and believe we now have a shared strategy for sensitive development in this special part of Scotland. “The plan seeks to reverse a decline in the working population by directing sensitive economic development opportunities, particularly for tourism and more affordable housing. “It takes into consideration population predictions, the need for affordable rural housing, under-utilised land supply and long-term growth across Loch Lomond & The Trossachs.”

“Development plans guide the future use of land and thel appearance of cities, towns and rural areas. They should indicatel where development, including regeneration, should.happenl and where it should not”. Scottish Planning Policy

Preparation and publication of Local Plan Issues Report

Concerns were raised over the level of development proposed in Drymen, Callander and Ardentinny. These proposals were reviewed and, where possible, alternatives or amended sites were proposed. The plan proposes to deliver 75 new homes per year and Fiona explained the need to continue to provide new housing in the area, “Given the overall aims of the plan’s development strategy and directing growth to those places which are able to accommodate a modest increase it remains important to provide for housing growth in Callander and Drymen.” The plan for one new Conservation Area in Blairmore, Strone and Kilmun was removed from the Finalised Draft Local Plan to allow for further engagement with the communities through a separate process. The plan reviewed the historical restriction on occupancy of new housing meeting only local needs in Loch Lomondside villages. This has resulted in a more flexible policy that protects its existing purpose but limits occupancy restrictions to ten years. The National Park Authority has also taken into account feedback on renewable energy and is now proposing a less prescriptive approach. Guidance has been prepared that will assist the planning team in providing advice upon and assessing renewable energy proposals. This is expected to increase the scope for renewable energy in the National Park that takes account of the National Park’s special qualities. Continued overleaf

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National Park Local Plan

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So what will our new plan do for us?

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“It will do this with a framework of management policies which will ensure the protection and enhancement of our special qualities and that local plan developments facilitate and enhance our visitor management challenges.”

Gordon Watson, Director of Planning said, “Our local plan will enable a more confident and assured planning service delivering positive change. Instead of reacting we will be proactive. It will help us direct the right tourism development to the right place and deliver the right quality,

bring forward more affordable housing, facilitate our ambitions for water transport on Loch Lomond and the sea lochs, support a wide range of rural business development and continue our ability to develop sensitive renewables development such as hydro.

Further consultation

What happens next?

Consultation on the Finalised Draft Local Plan closed on 6 April and generated over 270 representations which resulted in over 700 individual responses. Over half the representations concerned housing proposals, with most of the other responses focusing on tourism proposals, economic development proposals and the Draft Supplementary Guidance on Renewable Energy.

Planning staff are reviewing all responses from the recent consultation in detail and will prepare a report for the National Park board’s June meeting. Following this, we are required to submit the Finalised Draft Local Plan to Scottish Ministers for examination. This includes passing all unresolved representations, grouped by issue, to a Reporter from the Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals. The Reporter will decide whether formal hearings or an inquiry takes place and if any further information is required. The process is likely to take between six and nine months from the date of submission. Throughout this next phase we will continue to update our website with key developments, so please visit regularly to keep abreast of what’s going on. You can also contact the Forward Planning Team on t: 01389 722600, send an email to localplan@lochlomond-trossachs.org or visit our website www.lochlomond-trossachs.org

Enforcement Enforcement and monitoring officers, Sue Laverge and Ed Swales, work alongside their planning colleagues in forward planning (local plans) and development management (planning applications) to ensure that land is used or developed in a sustainable way in the longterm public interest.

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ue and Ed deal with breaches of planning control where there is unauthorised building works or changes in the way land is used or where development or activity does not comply with approved plans or planning conditions. The government’s recent high profile ‘modernising’ changes to the Scottish planning system has added new powers that will enable more effective monitoring of building work and enforcement of unauthorised building or activity. For instance, applicants now have to let the National Park Authority know when they intend to start building work, and when works are finished. This will assist Ed, as monitoring officer, to check that any prestart conditions have been attended to and that the works comply with the approved plans.

Close working between developer and our planning team ensures that developments like this farmhouse are completed to a high standard

New enforcement powers also allow the Park Authority to require someone to submit a retrospective planning application and to serve a temporary stop notice to prohibit an unauthorised activity that is causing damage to the environment or local amenity, for up to 28 days. These new powers enhance the negotiating position of the enforcement officer, Sue, to bring about informal voluntary resolution of breaches of planning control, which is the primary focus of National Park Authority enforcement work. The public interest and the provisions of the local plan are always overriding considerations in the work that Sue and Ed do in investigating potential breaches of

planning control and monitoring approved development. The use of enforcement powers is discretionary; they are not intended to be used as punishment or to protect the interests of one person or business over another. The number of formal notices served is low because taking formal action is seen as a last resort, except in cases involving serious amenity, environmental or safety impacts. Sue and Ed are available to respond to any enforcement or monitoring enquiry that you may have. Call Sue on t: 01389 722628 or email e: sue.laverge@lochlomond-trossachs.org Call Ed on t: 01389 722606 or e: edward.swales@lochlomond-trossachs.org


Scotland’s planning system is undergoing the most significant modernisation in over 60 years.

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he National Park Authority is a planning authority and therefore the changes made by Scottish Government affect us in the same way as the rest of Scotland. The changes came into effect in August last year and apply to all planning applications submitted to us. In summary, the main changes include:

New hierarchy of development and pre-application consultation There are now three categories of development – National (defined the Scottish Planning Framework); – Major (defined by the Planning Regulations), including housing development over 50 houses, electricity generation exceeding 20 megawatts, transport and infrastructure exceeding 8km and fish farms covering an area of 2 hectares or more; – Local (all other development). No national developments are identified for the National Park in the Scottish Planning Framework. We do expect to receive a number of major applications and the regulations for these require developers to do a pre-application consultation with the public. The pre-application consultation for our fist major development at the gold mine at Tyndrum will happen before the end of the year. Information about this consultation is included on our online planning pages at http://eplanning.lochlomond-trossachs.org.

New terminology There is also new terminology. Outline planning permission is now called planning permission in principle (PPP). An application for reserved matters is now an application for matters specified in conditions (MSC) following on from a Planning Permission in Principle.

Neighbour notification The responsibility for the notification of neighbours now falls to the National Park Authority rather than to you as the applicant. If your application requires to be advertised because there are no premises on the neighbouring land then the National Park Authority will charge a fee for doing this. This is for applications for Planning Permission, Planning Permission in Principle and Matters Specified in Conditions where neighbours would be notified. However, all applications are available for anyone to view on our online planning pages at http://eplanning.lochlomondtrossachs.org and you can visit our headquarters in Balloch to view applications. Planning applications can also be viewed at our Callander Office (52-54 Main St) on request.

Design and access statements Applications for national and major developments (except marine fish farms) will require Design and Access Statements. Applications for local development in a conservation area, a National Scenic Area, the site of a scheduled monument, the curtilage of a category ‘A’ listed building, a historic garden or a designed landscape will also require a Design Statement. We expect that a large number of planning applications in the National Park will require a Design Statement. We also want to encourage the submission of Design Statements even when not strictly required by the regulations. The Government’s Planning Advice Note 68 states that, “A Design Statement enables the applicant to explain why the selected design solution is the most suitable in the circumstances – in terms of the building(s) and the quality of spaces created.” Duration of planning permission The time that you have to start implementation of a full permission has changed from five years to three, unless the National Park Authority determines otherwise.

Appeals and reviews Depending on who determined your application, you may challenge the decision either to a Local Review Body consisting of a group of National Park elected members, or to Scottish Ministers depending if the application was decided by planning officials or our Planning & Access Committee. It is important to recognise that the review body will only review decisions of planning officers. They will not review their own Committee decision. The first time a member will have seen an application before a review body will be at the review meeting. The regulations say that review bodies should comprise no less than three members. Our review body consists of a pool of five Members, with one Chair. The appointed Chair is Terry Levinthal, and will consist of a further two members selected on rotation including Isabel Glasgow, Mike Luti, Tom McKee, Willie Nisbet and Iain Wragg. This membership will be reviewed in July following National Park elections (see page 47). All the meetings of the review body will be held in public. Initially the meetings will be on a monthly cycle depending on the number of reviews received. Notice of initiation of development (NID) / Notice of completion of development (NCD) The applicant or agent now need to notify the National Park Authority when development is started and then again when development is complete. The notices will assist the National Park Authority in monitoring conditions on planning application (see article opposite).

If you have any further questions about the changes in the planning system or developments in the Park then please do not hesitate to contact our Planning Information Officer on t: 01389 722024 or e: planning@lochlomond-trossachs.org.

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Modernising planning

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COMMUNITY CONSERVATION Conservation area regeneration schemes Killin (CARS)

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wo properties in Killin’s Conservation Area have recently been awarded grant funding of £20,650 under Historic Scotland’s CARS scheme, match funded by the National Park.

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10 Dreadnought place is owned by two private owners and the National Trust for Scotland and is currently undergoing a programme of works to repair/replace the aging roof, rainwater goods, skylights and second floor windows.

Callander (CARS) After a huge response to the open days last October the first projects have been awarded grant funding.

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ne of the key priority projects, the Crown Hotel, was offered partnership funding from the CARS project to reslate their roof and overhaul the dormers, which has successfully brought previously vacant space back into reuse. Two Small Grant offers have also been made for the replacement of a traditional stair window and rendering of a gable in traditional lime mortar. A conditional offer was also made to a shop owner. Callander CARS is also contributing to the proposed Callander Heritage Trail which has attracted majority funding from Stirling Council. Callander Community Development Trust is managing the project, with support from Callander & District Heritage Society who previously put a lot of work into the project. A new trail, which will link in with the other walks in and around Callander, will be ready in the summer and new ‘Welcome‘ panels in the two main car parks will show visitors what they can see and do in Callander. The CARS team is also working, in a small capacity, with Callander & Climate Change Team in their quest to measure the carbon footprint of the area, by putting them in touch with potential test sample properties. They also brought in the Climate/Renewable research team of Historic Scotland, who gave a talk on

measuring the carbon footprint of the built heritage, which was very successful. Finally, Finn Russell, now an apprentice with Tradstocks, is being funded jointly by CARS and the Communities Partnership Apprentice Support Project. The aim is to keep the traditional skills within the Park and Callander CARS is proud to be able to support such a worthy project. The Callander Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) is funded primarily by Historic Scotland and the National Park Authority. Its aim is to help improve the quality of the built heritage, which will in turn make an important contribution to the economic regeneration of the area. The funding will be used to: – restore important and historic parts of Callander’s Conservation Area – offer grants to owners or tenants of historic buildings in the Conservation Area – bring vacant historic floor space back into use – offer grants for shop front improvements – promote awareness about the built environment for anyone who lives in or visits Callander – ensure that traditional rural skills are not lost – reduce our carbon footprint in conserving our built heritage. The conservation area in Callander covers the older parts of the town around Leny Road, Leny Feus, Main Street, Bridgend and Bracklinn Road.

Lynedoch, Main Street, is a grade C listed traditional 19th century 2 storey and attic villa, currently undergoing a schedule of works to repair, overhaul and draught proof the 19 existing traditional sash and case windows which are in a poor state of repair. The building is used by the National Trust for Scotland as a base for Rangers and provides accommodation to seasonal staff. The CARS scheme invests in maintaining and improving historic character and heritage to enable sustainable development, economic growth, training and job creation for those who live and work in the community. The scheme has another two years to run and funding is still available, please contact Kirsty Callaghan on t: 01389 727743 to discuss eligible projects in Callander or Killin.


Survey (BGS) is auditing the stone used in Callander buildings. They will identify the different stone and slate type used throughout the town to increase awareness and provide information to help select matching materials for repairs. The original quarry sources may need to be safeguarded to ensure that supplies of these materials can be available in the future, raising the possibility of reducing dependence on imported or highly processed materials that have a high carbon footprint.

Recording stone types used in Callander

One of the things that makes Callander special is the use of local building materials. Stone and slate in particular give the town a distinctive character and strongly reflect the local geology.

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he historical development of the town can be seen through the use of different stone types over time as transportation improved and local materials gave way to stone that came from further afield. Stone gives Callander unique architectural features that not only form an important part of its attractiveness to tourists, but also provides a basic infrastructure to the local community, in terms of homes, businesses, churches, schools, monuments bridges and boundary walls, and public buildings. In order to retain these special qualities it is important to repair buildings using

appropriate materials. Recent research has proven that it is important to carefully select matching stone and slate to carry out proper longlasting repairs. The use of stone which does match in terms of composition can not only spoil the appearance of a building but may also lead to accelerated decay and ultimately cause more damage. High

Built Heritage Advisor, Karen Hind, said, “Everyone can see the detrimental effect uPVC windows can make to the appearance of our historic environment. Inappropriate pointing and stone and slate repairs have the same visual impact. However, what most people do not realise is the mid to long-term effects they can have on their property’s ability to perform as a structure. By carrying out this report, BGS will provide the people of Callander with the correct information they require to repair and care for their buildings for years to come, by protecting their valuable assets and ensuring they continue to stand and perform, well into

Recent research has proven that it is important to carefully selecti matching stone and slate to carry out proper long-lasting repairs., quality repairs are becoming more important as climate change is predicted to cause more prolonged periods of rain and storm events which will increase the pressure on our stone built heritage. Today there are no building stone or slate quarries within the Park and all replacement material has to be sourced from farther afield. It can be very difficult to obtain stone and slate that is in keeping with the original. As part of the Callander CARS project, the British Geological

the next century and beyond. If a building is repaired with the correct materials and skill it also improves the visual impact of the Conservation Area. This study is one of the most valuable pieces of research that can help with the care of Callander’s Conservation Area.” For more information contact: Susan McGowan, Built Environment Adviser t: 01389 722620 or e: susan.mcgowan @lochlomond-trossachs.org

Uncover Callander’s past Final preparations are being made for installation of the Callander Heritage Trail. Karen Hind, Built Heritage Adviser, is looking forward to people getting out there walking the trail. She said, “This trail has long been on the community’s agenda.

They are keen to conserve and promote the important heritage sites in Callander and the trail is an ideal way to do this in a fun and informative way.” A launch will be held in early summer to inform local businesses about the trail. In the meantime look out for the trail’s motif appearing around the conservation area in the centre of the village. It may not be what you expect!

CALLANDER HERITAGE WALKS Thursday 8 July, Thursday 12 August and Satuday 18 September2 pm Walk with National Park Rangers around the historic centre of Callander and discover the stories in the stones. Suitable for all the family, route suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. Booking essential, call 01389 722600 or email info@lochlomond-trossachs.org

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Callander stone and slate survey

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THEPARK | RURAL DEVELOPMENT 38

COMMUNITIES DRIVE THE PARTNERSHIP FORWARD N early 50 people from community groups all across the National Park area, from Crianlarich to Drymen and Sandbank to Thornhill, gathered recently to launch the re-shaped Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Community Partnership. The partnership was originally set up by the National Park Authority in 2004, through the award-winning Community Futures programme, to support communities as they embarked on their first community action plans. The partnership, a charitable company, went through significant change six months ago to become a membership organisation accountable to the communities themselves with some support from the Park Authority. Other key agencies are associate members, including Stirling Council, Central Scotland Police and Forestry Commission Scotland. The membership is continuing to grow and may reach around 100 by the AGM in November. The partnership provides support, especially in training, networking and information gathering and sharing. It has a support team of two part-time members of staff, but a vast amount of the work is undertaken by volunteer directors. The partnership has already built up a valued programme of events and member services, the big event each year being the Community Gathering held on the first Saturday in November. This is a great opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss common issues and challenges.

The partnership also runs a number of Park-wide projects such as the National Park Apprentice Scheme for small businesses in construction and Community Futures Goes Green for communities tackling energy efficiency in homes and community buildings (see page 44). Other Park-wide priority projects identified by the communities are ready to go as soon as the partnership has the funding in place.

The National Park is a place where people want to live and work. Chairman Iain MacInnes spokes about exciting times ahead with all the initiatives set out in the Business Plan. He said, “This is a memorable evening bringing together for the first time all the community members to take the organisation forward as a strong community-based organisation. It has taken a huge amount of effort to get to where we are now, but we can now look forward to getting things moving on the things that matter to us and in a way that will ensure that the National Park is a place where people will want to live and work.” Eleven people were nominated as Directors by their community organisations spread across the National Park. The evening also launched the Community Partnership Volunteering Award Scheme 2010. For further information contact Christine Nelson on t: 01389 727762 or e: christine.nelson@lochlomond-trossachs.org www.lltnp-cp.org.uk

Community Partnership successes, benefitting local communities include: Apprentice Support Scheme Supporting 17 local businesses employing 19 young apprentices, including two employed by Tradstocks near Thornhill, and two with James Bissett. The scheme continues until 2013.

Community Futures Goes Green Supporting eight communities around the Park to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint through household and community energy saving.

Annual Community Gathering Since 2005 this event has attracted around 100 participants to network, learn and share information about their community projects.

Website Training Building a hub website to link community websites in the Park and providing support to local community websites.

Argyll Forest Landscape Partnership Securing funding from Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission and the Park Authority to support local projects that improve the heritage landscape in the Argyll Forest.

National Park continues close working with communities

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ur communities are of special importance to the National Park Authority in all our efforts. The formal agreement last summer with the National Park Community Partnership, the independent voluntary organisation representing the interests of communities all across the Park, consolidates the Community Futures work over the last nine years as described in a new report (see page 39). The Community Partnership is now taking on a significant role in delivering support to communities, with our firm backing. We are especially keen to see the Community Partnership’s facilitation role grow, developing the support offered to community organisations, training, networking and information sharing opportunities, such as the area networks and the annual Gathering and continuing to help with community-led projects which deliver wider benefits for the National Park. The Park Authority’s community development staff, Neil Black, John Forth, Diane Davidson Kinghorn and Hannah Robinson are

focussing on community projects across the Park that clearly support National Park aims. Their role will continue to be providing capacity building, facilitating and acting as the link with other National Park teams for specific projects. Many others members of staff, such as ranger and access officers, also continue to work with community groups to progress priority conservation and visitor experience projects. Iain MacInnes, Chair of the Community Partnership, deserves a special mention for his leadership and commitment to Community Futures over the last nine years. Like Iain, there are many, many local folk who give their time voluntarily for the future of their communities – by helping prepare action plans, being members or directors of a community organisation, by fundraising, managing projects or turning up for community action such as litter picks. Without this phenomenal support the National Park Authority and its partners would be unable to deliver the practical solutions to ensure the continued enjoyment and conservation of this magical landscape.


Mapping Outcomes Community Futures A

new report, Community Futures: Mapping Outcomes from the Community Action Plans, is a summary of what was achieved in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Community Futures Programme. The programme saw 24 communities in and around the National Park shaping their own futures in a process of community action planning and development. In 2009 the Park Authority commissioned Colin Roxbrough of Small Town and Rural Development Group to research and write this report, which provides a thorough analysis and record of the results of the Community Futures action planning work.

Beyond the first community action plans, the National Park Authority went on to support communities to set up development trusts and provided staff assistance to implement priority projects. In 2008 the action plans were refreshed and new plans put in place. So it is timely that we are able to demonstrate the linkages between this community support, and the delivery of the National Park priorities of conservation, visitor experience and rural development. This publication also coincides with the publication of the finalised draft Local Plan. The first community action plans heavily influenced the National Park Plan back in 2005. The new action plans, produced in 2008, were crucial in identifying the priorities for communities in the National Park’s first Local Plan. Download a copy at : www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/living/ community- futures/menu-id-200.html

GRANTS SUPPORT COMMUNITY TRUSTS T he National Park Community Futures Programme supported local communities to identify priorities for action through their Community Action Plans and to establish Community Development Trusts. Last autumn, the programme offered Community Futures Grants to assist Community Development Trusts and other community organisations to deliver their Action Plans. This was in response to the needs expressed by communities through their recent Action Plan reviews. Two types of grant were available: up to £3,000 for short-term projects that help deliver National Park objectives and up to £1,500 for developing the capacity and strength of the organisation. Fifteen communities applied for the grant scheme and the following awards were made.

Drymen Community Development Trust £3,500 for fundraising and interpretation panels for Drymen Square.

Balloch (Loch Lomond) Community Interest Company £2,500 for administration of the Community Interest Company and benches and planters by Balloch Visitor Information Centre. Gartmore Community Trust £3,878 for running costs and a design plan for Gartmore playpark.

Sandbank Community Development Trust £480 for running costs. Kilmaronock Community Trust £4,500 for running costs and upgrading the entrance to the community playpark to improve safety.

Croftamie Community Trust £971 for running costs. Callander Community Development Trust £1,500 for running costs. Strathard Community Trust £4,364 for running costs and for benches, planters and noticeboards. Strathfillan Community Development Trust £490 for volunteer drive and Directors’ pack. Benmore and Kilmun Community Development Trust £800 for running costs.

Killin & Ardeonaig Trust £1,500 for running costs.

Luss & Arden Community Development Trust £3,628 for running costs and developments to their playpark.

Lochgoil Community Trust £4,163 for running costs and a natural playscape at the Arboretum Playpark.

Signage Group, Strachur Community Council £2,450 for ‘You are here’ displays at Strachur Bay and Heron Park.

Arrochar & Tarbet Community Development Trust £775 for running costs.

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Communities themselves felt it was important to formally record their progress. From the outset of the programme it was vital to answer the question, “What difference will this make in communities?” This report answers this question, and does so through the voices of the communities themselves. They describe the projects, the funding, the partnerships and the changes that came about through the Community Futures action planning programme.

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COMMUNITY UPDATE Support for marine access Highland Railway (north to Fort William and Oban, south to Helensburgh, Dumbarton and Glasgow) and cycle and walking routes (including the Cowal Way and the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path). It will also link with the Clyde, Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine ferry services, which it is hoped will build up with the return of this valuable interchange and landing point.

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catering and local gateway information services that visitors using the ferry will expect. The Scottish Government is adding funding from the Rural Priorities scheme (from the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP)) to grants and funding previously provided over a 10-year

Proposals included shore side visitor facilities to improve the. visitor experience for travellers coming from PS Waverley.

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rrochar and Tarbet community is delighted that proposals to bring back marine transport to the head of Loch Long are progressing. The plans were drawn up by the community, Argyll & Bute Council, the Park Authority and others, working in a Marine Access Group for the Cowal area of the wider Clyde waterway. A wide-ranging business plan includes plans to integrate marine traffic with local services. This will allow Arrochar to once again become a travel interchange hub, linking road (A83/A82/A814), West

Members of the local community spoke to Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Rural Affairs, about resurrecting ferry and pedestrian services on Loch Long when he visited Arrochar to present the Calor Village of the Year Award last October. A lot of work culminated in a successful business proposal which included improved shore side visitor facilities to improve the visitor experience for travellers coming from PS Waverley and other ferry operators. The communityowned Pit Stop Diner will have an extensive makeover to provide toilets, shower and laundry facilities and upgraded

development period by the Scottish Land Fund (SLF), the Big Lottery Fund (BLF), Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Communities Scotland, Scottish Enterprise Dumbarton, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Argyll and Islands LEADER, Lomond and Rural Stirling LEADER, European Union and other Trusts and charitable foundations. This funding provided professional, capital and revenue costs for the Pit Stop Diner, the new Three Villages Hall and now projecting forward, a marine pontoon jetty and visitor centre on the former pier car park.

Mausoleum on the mend he Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) recently gave the green light to Argyll Mausoleum Ltd to work up plans to restore the ancient Mausoleum located next to St Munn’s Church in Kilmun. The local group now have up to two years to submit more detailed plans to the second stage of the HLF process and apply for the £240,000 they are seeking for the £750,000 project.

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research at the site, which may date back to the 6th century and have links to both the early Celtic church and to the Viking period.

The Argyll Mausoleum is one of the least known but most significant historic sites in Argyll and potentially in Scotland. The site is the burial place of the Dukes of Argyll and Chiefs of Clan Campbell. The Mausoleum replaced an earlier private chapel in 1790 and houses some of the remains of earlier Earls and Dukes and their families as well as most of those from 1790 until 1949. It was last renovated in 1890 by the then Marquis of Lorne, subsequently the 9th Duke, when the distinctive cast iron dome was installed. Since then, the condition of the building has deteriorated and there is now a substantial risk to both the building and the unique artefacts it contains unless major renovation works are urgently carried out.

Argyll Mausoleum Ltd is a company limited by guarantee which has been set up by the Benmore & Kilmun Community Development Trust, with involvement of the Church of Scotland, Argyll & Bute Council, Argyll Estates and the National Park authority.

The renovation plans include not only the restoration of the building and artefacts, but also a new visitor centre and opening up of the Mausoleum to visits by the community, schools and visitors. The project also involves archaeological and historical

Jim Mather, MSP for Argyll & Bute, commented, “I’m delighted to see this progress; as always, it is no surprise to discover that this has been a direct result of committed local people acting in concert and keeping at it. I wish them well." For enquiries please contact David McKenzie at Argyll Mausoleum Ltd on t:07850 676574 or e:djmck@btconnect.com


The old renewed Lochgoil Community Council and Lochgoilhead Community Trust completed a project to renovate a historic sundial recently with assistance from Historic Scotland, Entrust and the principal funder Heritage Lottery Fund who contributed £20,700. Combined with the skill and knowledge of Nick Boyce, Architectural Restoration, Edinburgh, the monument is hopefully well placed for another 200 years. The obelisk sundial was probably a wedding present to the 9th Laird of Ardkinglas, Sir James Campbell. It was placed at the village as a Market Cross on the then village green but around 1857 it

Constructed in the heyday of sundialmaking in Scotland between 1620 and 1720 the artefact is strongly influenced by the style of the Low Countries and Germany. The characteristics of this period are a shaft, on which there are no dials and a stone cut to contain several sundials, the whole resembling a music stand or lectern. The dial stone is cut angled, bevelled and hollowed into a multiplicity of parts not easily described. In a general way the front and back present sloping surfaces and the ends or sides are perpendicular. On the front slope there is left a square block, 3 or 4 inches thick not unlike a closed book resting on a lectern. Suppose a square cut out of each corner of the book so as to leave the form of a Greek cross and four semi-circles cut out of the ends of the four arms of the cross,

Music in the Park

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he award-winning traditional music charity FiddleFolk (also known as Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop) attracted more than 3,000 residents and Park visitors to its events and concerts last year. As well as their inspirational tutor, Glenfiddich and Oban Masters Champion Sarah Naylor, teaching traditional fiddle to 90 children and 30 adults a week, they instituted fiddle and mandolin weekend workshops for children; started a youth Ceilidh group; arrange weekend residential music and outdoor activities

thus leaving eight horns and you have the principle and universal feature of this kind of dial. Over the years repairs have been carried out to the detriment of the original masonry but with the experience gained by Nick and his team they have sympathetically dismantled and repaired the existing structure exposing much relief work which had been covered with lichen. The column is in three distinct sections of hand carved stone indicating the quality and cost of the original artefact .The final touch by Nick’s team was to reinstate the metal gnomons, the tell tales which indicate the sun’s shadow, in all there myriad glory. Historical information is from The Book of Sun-Dials by Mrs Alfred Gatty published 1872 and The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland by D. McGibbon and T Ross, published 1887. Lesley Cuthbertson on behalf of Lochgoil Community Council

for young people; have toured Ireland and Argyll with young budding musicians; put on schools music tours; and bring top quality professional musicians to the Park. FiddleFolk are clearly a voluntary group who want to see the Park retain and promote its cultural heritage, and are doing all they can to extend the range of activities that are on offer to residents and tourists. To find out more about local events and their projects and concerts visit www.fiddleworkshop.co.uk e: mark@morvenlodge.co.uk

THE THREE VILLAGES COMMUNITY HALL

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great social hub for the Villages of Arrochar, Tarbet, Ardlui and neighbouring lochside communities is now open. Designed by Architects Bruce and Neil of Oban, the building has been constructed using sustainable natural materials sympathetic to the stunning scenery that surrounds the shores of Loch Long. Energy efficient features include groundsource heating and movement-sensitive lighting. The building has a large hall with beech wood floor to facilitate soft sports and the many social events planned for the community. There is also a series of small medium and large multi-purpose rooms giving flexibility to accommodate

meetings, training sessions, and presentations for groups of 2 – 50 people. The hall will provide a home for the many established clubs and societies in the local area: playgroup, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and heritage and archaeological groups. The hall will also accommodate a range of new activities, including keep-fit, dance classes and badminton club. The hall is a meeting place for local residents and a venue for social gatherings and family celebrations. The new community hall will host a variety of musical and theatrical performances throughout the year bringing a new dimension to rural living in our villages and the surrounding area.

We are pleased to announce that Mull Theatre will stage The Weir in The Three Villages Hall this autumn. For further information contact Liz Baillie Campus Manager on t: 07787 129428 or e: liz.baillie@btinternet.com www.arrocharandtarbet.co.uk

THEPARK | RURAL DEVELOPMENT

was thrown down and damaged across the middle of the shaft. When it was repaired it was moved about 20 yards from its original position and had a protective iron fence erected around it.

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Gartocharn online

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new website has been created for the village of Gartocharn and its surrounding area on the south shores of Loch Lomond. It’s been designed for the benefit of the community but also for anyone looking to visit the area. The team behind creating the website received funding from the National Park Community Partnership, Awards for All, Lomond & Rural Stirling Leader+ and Stirling Council. The website features stunning photography of the area, information about clubs, groups and classes in the area, a tourist information section with details of local accommodation and a village diary. The site also features information about local places of interest including Ross Priory, the Aber Pathway, Duncryne and the National Nature Reserve. The website was built by Elaine Ellen, Thea Roxburgh, Celia Burn and Sheila Watson and Helen Glasgow, Danny Owens and Allan Watson. Bob Balmer and Doug Akhurst are responsible for the stunning photographs visit: www.gartocharn.org

Trossachs open studios

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hy plan for one event when you can have three for the same amount of hard work? That was the decision taken at the meeting by those artists now working hard to get this project underway. The call was put out for artists and makers to get in touch to build a database to produce a directory for our area. They did and continue to do so. So many in fact, that we have decided to start with an Arts Trail around the Trossachs which will be built from that database, which will in turn create an Artists and Makers Directory and will culminate with our own Trossachs Open Studios event.

living and working in the National Park to both residents and visitors and to encourage people to come along and find out first hand where the artists’ inspiration comes from and to ask questions about their work .

This is planned over the weekend of Friday 1 to Sunday 3 October 2010. But that’s the Trossachs Jazz Weekend too I hear you say? Now that makes four great events to complement and add to the tourist and local community experience. In this year of ScottsLand celebrations, what better way to appreciate the diversity of all that we can enjoy on our own doorstep?

As part of the project, if there is sufficient call for it, there will be workshops and mentoring offered to help the aspiring artist and maker take part.

For it is the intention that all of these events will raise awareness of local artists

Joan MacLean Davidson

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oan MacLean Davidson will be much missed, but happily remembered, by communities and community activists across the National Park. She was a great advocate for the importance of communities being recognised as key partners in the conservation, visitor experience and economic development of the Park - and not afraid to remind those in office! She was a Community Councillor and very much involved in the Association of Community Councils, as the Treasurer, for many years. As a Community Councillor for Arrochar & Tarbet she campaigned successfully to improve the rail link from Arrochar.

In 2001, Joan became a member of the Interim Committee for the National Park, bringing a strong community voice to the formation of Scotland's first National Park. She was a great supporter of the Community Futures project enthusiastically encouraging volunteers to get involved in their communities and to work in partnership with the Park and other communities. Through this work, Joan became one of the first Directors of the Community Partnership - laying the foundations for the organisation that is now delivering support and benefits for communities across the Park.

There is still time to confirm interest and subscribe to one or all three parts of this ambitious programme but you will need to act fast as we are now working to tight time lines. This project is part of the Trossachs Enterprise Rural Mentoring Scheme (TERMS).

To register interest please contact info@trossachsopenstudios.co.uk If you would like further information and details on costs please contact lucy@lochlomond-trossachs.org or phone 07770 512215. www.trossachsopenstudios.co.uk


group of National Park volunteers and members of the local community recently cleared an amazing 140 kilos of litter from Lochgoilhead and Castle Carrick beaches. Soft drinks cans, fast food wrappers and fishing ropes were just a few of the items cleared by the group. The day was kick started by National Park Ranger, Rowan Fraser, who gave a talk about marine conservation. Elspeth Quinn, one of volunteers said, "When I saw volunteers were needed for the beach clean, I was delighted to help. It was a fun and extremely worthwhile day – it was fascinating learning more about marine conservation and very satisfying relieving the environment of 140kg of litter." The event was organised as part of the National Spring Clean Campaign by Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs through their ‘OUR park’ scheme (see page x) and the National Park Authority.

Gartmore wall

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ecently Gartmore Community Trust got together with the West of Scotland Dry Stone Walling Association to move a wall in the playpark that the community own. This will enable the garden from the former village club building to be moved to be closer to the building. The village club was sold to fund a major refurbishment and rebuild of the village hall and the community is progressing the redesign of the play park. The local wallers went on a weekend’s training with the Dry Stone Walling Association and then spent another weekend moving the wall. Plenty of soup and home baking kept everyone sustained, All agreed that not only had a fine job been done but a lot of fun had by all. You can see all the fun in a time-lapse photography sequence at www.epicprivate.com/gartmorewall

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e are continuing our Natural Heritage Grant Scheme in 2010-11 so we can build on the successes of the first three years. A whopping £530,000 investment by the National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage from 2007 to 2010 provided financial support for 60 worthwhile and diverse projects to get off the ground. These encouraged local delivery of National Park objectives for conservation, visitor experience and rural development. Details of many of these projects have featured in previous issues of our magazine and in local newspapers – see some recent examples on pages 26 & 27. In 2010-11, the National Park Authority will be sole funders of the scheme. However, a reduced budget and our forward commitments from previous years, means that funding for new projects will be very limited. For this reason, we will prioritise straightforward, practical projects that will benefit the natural heritage or landscape of the Park, be deliverable by March 2011 and are based on well-considered and thorough applications. We will however continue to consider good quality applications for other types of project. In all cases, we recommend that potential applicants make early contact with our Grant Scheme Administrator (details below) before submitting an application. We may ask you for basic information about your proposal so we can give you quick feedback on whether or not your project meets our priorities.

For more information contact Joanne Bleach, Grant Scheme Administrator on t: 01389 722675 or e: joanne.bleach@lochlomondtrossachs.org

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GREEN COMMUNITY Killin cutting carbon Thanks to an award of more than £87,000 from the Climate Challenge Fund, the Killin and Ardeonaig Trust was able to engage in reducing local community carbon emissions.

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he first part of this was the survey and insulation of local houses followed by individual reports advising on household carbon emissions and how they could be reduced. It also involved a school energy lesson and board game in Killin Primary School. Based on the successful Hadyard Hill model this is managed by the Energy Agency. Good discounts are available for cavity wall and loft insulation. This part of the project ends and a report on the estimated carbon emissions savings produced will be available at the end of March 2010.

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The second part of this project is the training and employment of two part-time energy advisers who are in post and work from a temporary office in the Sports and Leisure Club. They will attend a City & Guilds Energy Awareness course in April, meantime they have been studying a wide range of energy awareness issues and will

be available to the general public to help them explore energy usage. In an off-gas community, heavily reliant on oil, Killin will feel the financial pressure of rising energy costs more than many other communities. The advisers are involved in local projects, network with local groups, connect to others in the same field and obtain help from relevant professionals. Another of their tasks is to try to quantify changes that have taken place since the project began by means of questionnaires. They will seek out and publicise examples of good practice for others to follow and by their work they hope to raise public awareness of the importance of improving energy usage and conservation. For more information contact Willie Angus Killin and Ardeonaig Community Development Trust on t: 01567 820238 Office opening hours are 11am to 5pm on Thursdays and Fridays. t: 01567 820937

Community Futures goes green the smallest of communities. Strathfillan in the northernmost part of Breadalbane has a population of only 395 (2001 census). The largest of the group is Sandbank in Cowal, with 1,000.

Working together, the communities of Gartmore, Strathfillan, Buchanan, Kilmaronock, Strachur, Lochgoil, Sandbank and Benmore & Kilmun are planning to take action to cut their carbon footprint.

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ith the support of the National Park Community Partnership and the National Park Authority, they successfully submitted an application to the Climate Challenge Fund to help them do this. Working together, these communities from right across the Park will raise awareness of what can be achieved by

The joint working should increase the impact and galvanise and support one other to reach targets. Each is also part of the four active area networks: Cowal, Lomond, Trossachs and Breadalbane, so their experiences will be shared with the wider Park communities. Project elements include: – A community-scale, area-based, handson approach to energy efficiency measures for households through indepth doorstep surveys and follow on measures within these eight communities. – Each community will implement their Community Action Plan priorities contributing to the overall carbon cutting and improvement, particularly in the areas of transport, waste, food production and biodiversity.

– Sharing networking opportunities and investigating feasibility for longer-term projects, such as community-scale renewables, such as run of river hydro, supporting local businesses with biomass and wood fuel development (particularly in Cowal and Buchanan communities). – Working with each Community Hall Committee and Community Energy Scotland to audit and implement measures for community buildings that will also reduce their running costs. – Awareness-raising at community events including ‘The Gathering’ and school energy lessons. – Celebrating success and sharing experience with other National Park communities. – An energy monitor library to loan awareness-raising equipment. For more information and to get involved contact John Massey e: john.g.massey@btinternet.com or e: celia burn: sanmakess@aol.com


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LIenergy has established an information point at National Park HQ, Carrochan, to provide support on energy issues. The service will also work with your community, helping you develop awareness and understanding of energy issues and the ability to provide support from within your community.

Jim Proctor @ information point

The Development and Support Officer Caroline Cuddihy, along with the Infopoint Development Officer Jim Proctor, work closely with communities, businesses and householders to implement energy saving measures.

This can be one-to-one sessions, community group talks, grant sourcing, home audits, benefits health checks and help with energy tariffs among other things. If you have an idea for a community energy project or just want some advice on energy saving or renewable energy in your home or business, come in on a Tuesday morning or a Thursday afternoon and speak to Jim or Caroline. For further information contact Caroline Cuddihy on t: 07901 516106 or e: caroline@alienergy.org.uk www.alienergy.org.uk

SMILES ALL ROUND AS CALLANDER COMBATS CLIMATE CHANGE Callander and Climate Change, a sub-group of Callander Community Development Trust, has been celebrating a successful grant application to the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund last September.

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argaret Warnock, Convener of the Callander and Climate Change Group commented, “Here in Callander we are very aware of the increasingly wet weather caused by climate change due to increased carbon emissions. It’s therefore fantastic to get the grant as it means we can really start doing something about climate change by cutting carbon emissions in our own community!” The grant of £113,000 has enabled the group to employ two local project officers and three area energy officers to assist householders in improving their home’s energy efficiency. The grant will also be used to look at the use of renewable energy technologies for both homes and public buildings and measures to help reduce carbon emissions from travel, an important issue for a rural community. Project officers, Julia Osfield and Astrid Horward, are raising awareness about the challenges we face as a village and how we can contribute individually and collectively to change our community’s lifestyle. They will be organising several events, and speaking with as many local people as possible; members of community groups, parents and children at the local primary school and at McLaren High School, and individual householders.

Until March 2011, Area energy officers Mandy Maclean, Martin Frater and Sheona Mathewson, will be offering free advice to people in Callander about energy efficiency and available measures to reduce energy use. They will offer information on energy efficient lighting, insulation of lofts, cavity walls and floors, double glazing, how to improve heating and the latest energy efficient boiler. As Callander and Climate Change will be working closely with the Energy Saving Trust, the team will also be able to provide information on available grants and loans. As part of the project, Callander and Climate Change will measure the community’s carbon footprint, which will be announced at the beginning of spring. Having a carbon footprint measurement will not only raise awareness about the amount of greenhouse gasses we produce, but also allow targets to be set for carbon reduction against which progress can be assessed. Although the project will be financially supported for a year and a half, this is only the beginning of the journey toward a low carbon community. Callander and Climate Change will develop a 15-year carbon reduction plan for Callander (2011–25),

inviting and encouraging every member of the community to become actively involved. If you are interested in participating as a volunteer, or would just like to know more about the project or about the team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. For further information contact Julia or Astrid on t: 01389 722041 or e: ccdt@lochlomond-trossachs.org

FOOTPRINTS Callander's Carbon Footprint was 26,223 tonnes was revealed at the recent Footprint Festival. This is slightly higher than the Scottish average. Over the next 12 months we will be supporting the community in reducing that carbon footprint by 4% each year to meet government's carbon reduction target of 42% by 2020 . Quite a challenge, but we think we can do it. We will start with improving our homes (insulation), reducing our energy use in general and addressing other areas like our food production and travel and transport.

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Green energy info @ Park HQ

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New Appointment

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ational Park Convener, Dr Mike Cantlay, is the new Chairman of VisitScotland. Mike has been a National Park board member since July 2002 when the National Park was first designated and was elected Convener by the board in July 2006.

Speaking about his new appointment Mike said, “Selling Scotland and developing Scottish tourism has dominated my working career. As such chairing VisitScotland will be an enormous privilege. Post recession, Scottish tourism faces a new, challenging environment. It will be my objective to lead VisitScotland, our partners and the industry to seize the ‘step change’ opportunities that will drive our industry forward toward our ambitious targets. “It has been a great honour to convene the board of the National Park and to witness first hand how the organisation has developed since the early days. I am grateful to everyone for the support, enthusiasm and total commitment they have shown not only to me but to this very special part of Scotland.”

I am grateful to everyone at the Park for the support, enthusiasml and total commitment they have shown not only to me but to thisl very special part of Scotland.

In welcoming Mike’s appointment Ministers highlighted the work and successes of the Park Authority. Fiona Logan, Chief Executive, added her support, “Mike has been an inspirational leader for the organisation and has shown great passion, steely determination and vision for the National Park. I’m delighted for Mike but will be very sorry to see him leave. Living and working in the National Park, he has a real empathy with the needs of our communities and with his tourism background has recognised the need to raise the profile of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs as a worldwide visitor destination. He has been with the National Park since the very beginning back in July 2002 and we really appreciate his dedication. "I would like to congratulate him on this well deserved appointment and thank him for all his hard work and support over the years.” Mike will remain as Convener until after the new National Park board is in place later this year.

National Park Plan mid-term review The National Park Plan’s mid-term review, presented to Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham in March, sets out to galvanise our partner organisations and provide direction on where efforts should be focussed to achieve our aims.

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his significant document in the operation and planning of the Park’s work has distilled our focus into five challenging but measurable priorities.

We expect that these well-defined priorities will guide us and partners in delivering some considerable improvements and achievements within the Park over the coming years.

Conservation

Visitor experience

Rural development

Strategic Priority 1

Strategic Priority 3

Strategic Priority 5

Pilot an alternative model of service for delivering land management support within the National Park as a test bed for Scotland.

Improve the quality of the public realm in the National Park to encourage private investment and improve the visitor experience.

Strategic Priority 2

Strategic Priority 4

Implement the National Park Local Plan to improve the range of sustainable tourism products and promote the development of water based transport and tourism.

Ensure the A82 upgrade meets the highest environmental standards and provides a high quality visitor experience.

Improve the quality and consistency of signage and information services in the National Park to enhance the visitor’s experience and create a positive and consistent approach across business and public services.

The full review is available in the Publications section of our website. lochlomond-trossachs.org


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ominations to stand for election in five wards (1.Cowal and North Loch Lomond, 2 Breadalbane and the Trossachs, 3 Callander, 4 East Loch Lomond and Port of Menteith and 5 West Loch Lomond and Balloch) closed on 28 May. In three of the wards (1, 2 and 4) only one name was nominated, so these candidates will be returned unopposed. They are David McKenzie from Blairmore in Ward 1, who will be new to the board, Owen McKee, who has been the member in Ward 2 since 2002 and Willie Nisbet who has been the member in Ward 4 since 2006. In Wards 3 and 5 there will be a postal ballot, which is being organised by Stirling Council on our behalf, with their Chief Executive, Bob Jack, as Returning Officer. In Ward 3 the candidates are Jack Black, Dan McKirgan and David Warnock, and In ward 5 the candidates are Iain Wragg and David McCowan. Stirling Council will send ballot papers out on 10 June and the deadline for their return is 4pm on 1 July 2010. Votes will be counted at National Park HQ Carrochan on the evening of 1 July.

Gus Lennox

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us Lennox was the original National Park volunteer. He started 10 years ago when the Interim Committee piloted volunteering. Throughout this time, Gus was out come rain or shine and he positively shaped the experience of many staff and volunteers. He gave well over 4,000 hours of his time to every

Locally-elected members bring to the board the valuable understanding and perspective of the Park’s local businesses and communities and will also champion, represent and help deliver Park Authority objectives in their wards. The board meets regularly to make strategic decisions about how the Authority fulfils its role in delivering the four National Park aims, including balancing the requirements for conservation and socio-economic development within the Park area. Individual members will also get involved in other activities such as: – Achieving the Park’s objectives in conservation, visitor experience and rural development – Taking decisions on planning and development control – Financial monitoring – Representing the National Park Authority externally – Acting as champion for the Park and the Authority – Overseeing the development, approval and monitoring of the Corporate and Business Plans – Contributing to the leadership and strategic direction of the National Park

aspect of our work; from black grouse lek surveys at 5am to envelope posting, path maintenance to woodwork with children. In 2005, Gus created the wooden baton that was passed along the length of the West Highland Way as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations and walked every step of the way helping lead each relay group. Gus was popular with all ages and types of people. He has a stubborn dedication to the countryside and this respect rubbed off on all National Park staff and volunteers he worked with. His humour ensured that even days litter picking in torrential rain were enjoyable. Gus hadn’t been well for a while but we weren’t aware just how ill he had been. His death came suddenly and shocked and saddened us all. His enthusiasm, knowledge and humour will be missed.

© Crown copyright and database right 2010 All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100031883

Following the excitement of the National elections in May, we have another more local ballot to elect five people to the National Park board.

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USE YOUR VOTE

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Appointments commence immediately for a period of four years. In October, further changes will complete the reduction in size of the board from 25 to 17 that was recommended in a strategic review by the Scottish Government. The Government will appoint six further new members following a full recruitment process already well underway and the four local authorities will nominate six members. One of the new board’s first tasks will be to elect a Convener and Deputy Convener. For more information on the election visit our website and follow the link on our homepage. Or contact Stirling Council: Sheila McLean t: 01786 443297 or Michelle MacDonald t: 01786 442599

Kenny Auld, Access Adviser, remembers his first meeting, "I first met Gus in 2003 when I started as a volunteer myself. When I later became a seasonal Ranger, I was lucky enough to have Gus by my side most days. His knowledge was a great help to me and his company as a colleague and a friend was certainly never boring! He was a Ranger in everyway bar the payslip and was particularly popular at Luss Primary School where we led an after-school woodwork class where children would chisel red squirrels and otters and learn about the species as they had fun. His dedication to the outdoors never wavered and he will be hugely missed.” We are considering how best to remember Gus Lennox and recognise his contribution and interests in a lasting way.



The Park Issue 1