Proposed new National Park byelaws – another threat to our sport

Late in 2014 the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority issued a consultation proposing several new byelaws, including a provision that would prevent overnight camping on most of the Trossachs lochs except at designated sites. This follows on from what the National Park Authority (as opposed to those who actually use the Park) considers to be the “success” of the East Loch Lomond camping ban introduced a couple of years ago. Details are in this link: http://www.thisisyourpark.org.uk/

If implemented, this ban would have a significant adverse effect on coarse anglers in the Park, especially those who wish to bivvy up for pike fishing.  Needless to say we sympathise with the NPA’s desire to reduce littering and vandalism, but preventing responsible users from spending the night on the bank is not the answer – this is a problem of policing plain and simple.

In order to try to protect our members’ interests SFCA objected strongly to the ban in our response to the consultation which can be found by clicking the link below:

Proposed camping management byelaws (2015) – SFCA Comments

We understand that the main organisations representing walkers, mountaineers, canoeists and other outdoor users similarly registered their opposition. However it’s now apparent that the National Park Authority does not wish to be swayed, and its report on the consultation has given wholehearted support to its own proposals: http://www.thisisyourpark.org.uk/downloads/, despite almost universal opposition among users. You may also be interested to read the comments in this independent Internet article http://www.tgomagazine.co.uk/news/breaking-news-loch-lomond-and-the-trossachs-national-park-camping-ban-approved .

The next step will be a “confirmation process” in which the National Park Authority applies to Scottish Government Ministers to approve its decision. This involves a 30-day notification period where the National Park Authority must give the public notice of its intention to apply to Scottish Ministers for their approval. Our only chance of preventing this ban from becoming law is therefore now to make representations to the Scottish Government – as individuals, as clubs and as the Scottish Governing Body for our sport – expressing our opposition and asking them not to ratify the proposed byelaws. SFCA has already written to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and will follow this up when the formal notification period is announced.  A copy of the letter can be found by clicking the link below:

SFCA Letter to Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Afairs

We are asking you all to lend your voices to this campaign. Representations will carry more weight if they are expressed in your own words, but feel free to quote from the SFCA material in the links above. Individual anglers (whether or not members of SFCA) who live in Scotland can email or write to their MSPs (http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps/current-msps.aspx ). Angling clubs, as well as those anglers based outside Scotland who visit here to fish, would be better to email or write direct to the Cabinet Secretary (http://www.gov.scot/About/People/Ministers/Cabinet-Secretary-for-Rural-Environment)

Please take time to participate. We need your support!

Ron Woods,  Policy Officer


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