Infrastructure

Having visited national parks all over the world and then recently travelling around Scotland last summer, I was shocked by the lack of infrastructure. Our trip took us up through the highlands to Skye, Wester Ross and Assynt. It was a jaw dropping trip and I was unsurprised to see thousands of visitors taking in the incredible scenery. The infrastructure was awful though. When I was in America and New Zealand they either provided ample toilets, car parks, camping sites, chemical toilet stations, high quality roads etc etc OR they restricted access to areas and in some cases it was a lottery by the park services for access to the most sought after sites. In Scotland it was everyone for themselves. I support responsible wild camping, crofting, kayaking and all other free outdoor activities etc but in order to protect the environment a major improvement of infrastructure is needed in throughout Scotland. In the instagram era there will be more and more visitors to Scotland for the scenery. Some sites may need restrictions like only 40-100 people on a path per day or even a lottery/charge/pass in terms of access to NC 500 with a campervan or to travel the Applecross road. Any further creation of national parks should have infrastructure at its heart, not to encourage more visitors necessarily, but to manage them on the land. Interested to hear other’s thoughts.

Why the contribution is important

Provides a safe approach to access to the most beautiful sights in Scotland both for visitors, residents and the environment

by skyedoog on June 03, 2022 at 01:52PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 5.0
Based on: 4 votes

Comments

  • Posted by croftercowrie June 04, 2022 at 21:17

    I wholeheartedly agree. Our absentee laird has a campsite (on our common grazing) above a beach near to where I live (on a croft), and there is NO provision for the camper vans and tents he encourages to "his" site. Waste, including human waste, is left beside the burn. I don't think another National Park is the answer ('cos it'll encourage more campervans and second houses which contribute to the degradation of the national environment), but it's high time the Scottish govt discouraged absentee lairds and absentee crofters, and second and holiday houses -- bylaws which, presumably, a National Park would be able to implement more easily.
  • Posted by tmarshall June 06, 2022 at 06:56

    I think this is absolutely right. The special qualities of national parks are lost when over-run with traffic or anti-social behaviour caused because of a lack of a facilities / infrastructure. To protect local people and the environment, the infrastructure needed to support increase in visitors must be provided in advance of designation. This should almost certainly mean restricting access to the most sensitive areas (except on foot, bicycle etc.). Public transport must be robust and provide a viable means of getting to and around the national park to minimise private vehicles. The French model of Aires would be a good idea for campers.
  • Posted by PaulTarling June 06, 2022 at 09:43

    I must agree that the ability to add suitable infrastructure were it is needed is a big factor this is were i believe that Galloway is best suited to be the next National Park.
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