The banks of Loch Lomond might not seem like the perfect party hotspot, but for some teens, the area was once the perfect place to drink. That was at least until a new law stepped in, banning 'wild camping' around Loch Lomond. However debate continues as to whether the ban will see the end of ‘wild camping’ and if it will spell disappointment for sensible walkers and campers.
Wild camping has for months been under focus by local Scottish police, who have had to patrol the area in order to cut down on the excessive drinking and resulting anti social behavior in the area that included damage to the environment, litter problems and abusive behavior.
In one week, a group of teenagers had almost 50 litres of alcohol confiscated at the beauty spot on the West Highland Way. In other news a man was arrested following an incident whereupon he brandished an air weapon in Loch Venachar; not an item most sensible campers would pack as part of their camping equipment!
Despite these incidents, Rambler’s Scotland objected to an outright ban of wild camping on May 3rd 2011, stating that it would “also affect any responsible camping” in the area.
However, the by law has been passed, and since the 1st of June this year, it is illegal to camp or bivvy on a 17km (10½miles) stretch of the West Highland Way between March and October, between Drymen and Rowardennan; except in recognised sites.
Stirling Council has also imposed a ban on the public consumption of alcohol on the east side of Loch Lomond.