Friday, 7 October 2011

TV turns spotlight on Lomond bivvy ban

Newly-introduced by-laws banning camping on the East Shore of Loch Lomond will drive pike anglers away and deprive the local economy of a much-needed winter boost.

That was the warning from Pike Anglers Club secretary Graham Slater (pictured), in a soon to be broadcast BBC documentary.

Anglers visiting the loch have camped peacefully beside the water for generations. Now those sleeping in "bivuoacs", "wigwams", tents or "any kind of shelter" face a £500 fine - along with those sleeping loch-side in vehicles.

Graham joined a film crew covering the ban beside the loch, to put pike angling's view across.

"I told them we don't condone rubbish in any way and that the camping ban is affecting our members," he said. "We feel that they could have tried other measures first with a total ban as a last measure, our members no longer bank fishing are depriving the local economy of much needed tourist cash, while the signs all over are putting off visitors."

National Park officials claimed litter and anti-social behaviour from gangs of rough campers were turning the Bonny Bonny Banks into an eyesore.

But the PAC joined the Scottish Ramblers and other outdoor enthusiasts in opposing the proposals when they were first announced last March.

There have been calls to extend the ban to other lochs, including Tay and Tummel. More on the background here. Details of new by-laws here.

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