Forestry Commission proposals to limit wild camping in Scotland.

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  • Forestry Commission proposals to limit wild camping in Scotland.
  • Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Any one know the story behind this?

    If it’s true then it’s the thin end of the wedge. The big landowners will be delighted.

    trail_rat
    Member

    even if it does go through – good luck to them finding me to move me on 😀

    first rule of wild camping isnt it …..

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    “A possible suggestion for this could be a blanket ban on camping within 400m of a public road or recognised formal recreation facility car park.”

    So basically targeting car camping not wild camping. 400m isn’t that far.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    So basically targeting car camping

    That’s ok then 🙄

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Which you can get around by walking 400m,nit that hard is it?

    timber
    Member

    Fully understand where they are coming from, girl at work used to work for LL&T NP, it’s not the outdoors types that they have an issue with, they never know they have camped. The problem is those that only go as far as they can fling stuff from the car and leave a tideline of rubbish behind, predominantly booze and drug related stuff left on the shore along with tents, clothes, jonnies.

    Don’t think it is eroding anything, just clarifying to stop its abuse. Continued abuse would give land owners more to complain about.

    Dartmoor and the Lakes are the only place I’m aware of allowing wild camping south of the border and as long as I’ve wild camped on them, they’ve always had the 400m from road or habitation thing.

    GregMay
    Member

    No issues with this at all. If you can’t exist 400m away from your car, quite possible you shouldn’t be going camping in the first place. The level of rubbish developing around some popular areas is horrendous, if this helps limit it – I’m up for it.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Which you can get around by walking 400m,nit that hard is it?

    But why should you have to?

    The issue is about littering not camping per se. It’s alright (as in socially acceptable in these parts) to park up in your T5 and spend the night, but not if you would like to pitch a tent at the side of your car.

    Well my mate won’t be happy if this comes about. He’s just ordered a brand new 40K motorhome & parking up for the night on loch shores etc was his main intention!

    Premier Icon andyfla
    Subscriber

    So if you have any roads within 800m of each other you cant camp ? that’s going to block off a fair amount of the countryside.

    I like the idea of discouraging messy campers and I know there is a growing problem but who will enforce this and is it the right way to go ?

    timber
    Member

    My colleague tells me the police weren’t bothered about enforcing the littering, drug taking, drinking and violence. They were just glad it hopefully meant less of it was happening in Glasgow. They used to get abuse whilst litter picking and weren’t to lone work after a few bad incidents.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    geoffj wrote:

    So basically targeting car camping

    That’s ok then [/quote]

    You reckon it isn’t? There are official campsites available for people who want to do that sort of thing.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    You reckon it isn’t? There are official campsites available for people who want to do that sort of thing.

    I take it you ignored my comment about T5s

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    The LLTNP Loch Lomond bye laws were the thin end of the wedge.

    I think we have enough laws and rules to manage the issues.

    What we do not have is enough resources (police, rangers, education) and the political will to do enough.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Just to put my comments in context.
    We have a caravan on a summer pitch at Loch Morlich.
    Every weekend there are campers (tents) and motorhomes / vans which use the lay-bys on the loch road. More often than not, they stay one or two nights and move on. I’m not suggesting they leave the place pristine, but its hardly over run with litter and latrines.
    Converesely, after a warm sunny day, the beach at the east end often has a high volume of litter on it from day visitors.
    It’s not the camping that’s the problem, it’s peoples attitudes and behaviour.
    FC and Highland Council could also do more in the provision of bins and public toilets because these folk are also spending money locally – even if that is only on fags and booze.

    gwaelod
    Member

    I think matt_outandabout is spot on

    Used to do expeds with dofe groups around tibbies. Alastair was always great even taking in soaking boots to dry them overnight. But he had people from the free camping using his loos etc.

    Xylene
    Member

    ^ Just follow the poo trails

    Premier Icon Nipper99
    Subscriber

    Where do you get those resources from.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Works for me (indeed I’ve already advocated such a thing on STW and elsewhere).

    There are three groups responsible for most of the litter/mess problem in the Highlands; car boot campers, bothy abusers and (sad to say) the military. If the alternative is a LLNP type ban, which discriminates against responsible camping, then I’ll take this option.

    For those worried about their “freedom” to park their campervan up, note that it would not prevent locals and local authorities from setting up designated spots for fee-less camping as has already happened on some of the Hebrides and it would release some much needed parking spaces for those that want a short term stop rather than folk staying for a number of days.

    poly
    Member

    1. There is no right to “Car Camp” in the existing legislation. The “right” to wild camp comes as an ancillary right to responsible access – which does not involve motorised transport! Wild camping should be lightweight (which I believe should be interpreted as meaning – you can carry all your kit at once).

    2. The SOAC already says wild camping should be “well away from buildings, roads or historic structures.”

    3. The SOAC says responsible camping (the only legal type!) should “Leave no trace by: taking away all your litter; removing all traces of your tent pitch and of any open fire (follow the guidance for lighting fires); not causing any pollution.”

    The article and the comments in it seem to be a massive over reaction to what sounds like a suggestion at a consultation meeting to avoid the LLTNPA introducing rules which simple displace the problem. Reading between the lines of what Forestry Commission were saying was to the effect of we need to clarify that Car Camping in not an existing right, rather than ban camping in very specific areas (a point I have made in various consultations). Similarly I highlighted to LLTNPA that many of the issues they object to – Littering, chopping down trees, bad parking, excessive drunkenness, drug taking, etc are already illegal, the solution is not to make new laws but enforce the existing ones.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    It’s clearly a comment that has been taken out of context as a statement.

    It’s also clearly been made in the context of the antisocial camping problems occuring at places like Loch Lomond, Glen Etive, Dunning Glen, etc, where people rock up with a car full of booze and cheap tents, make a huge mess and leave it.

    Stop making a fuss.

    What we do not have is enough resources (police, rangers, education) and the political will to do enough.

    Can you see a reality where all of rural Scotland is patrolled by some kind of camping police?

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    It’s the punish everyone for the actions of a few principle I object to.

    If it’s car campers that are the problem, then simply provide decent size bins AND empty them regularly. At least it means people are getting out in the countryside, and some folk (elderly, disabled, loads of young kids to manage etc) can’t go far from thecar. And as for the lazy, maybe the experience will encourage them to get more interested in going further afield.

    If this comes in the big landowners will be breaking out the champagne, the first crack in open access. Their attempts to enclose land to “reintroduce” species like wolves hasn’t worked, but if they can jump on the irresponsible camper bandwagon once a precedent is set, they will. Don’t underestimate their resources to wedge this wide open once a crack appears.

    As for the “party” folk, then maybe we should have areas for them. Make it easy for them and contain the mess – although I suspect adequate bins and bogs would fix most of the problem.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    ^ this 100%

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    The article and the comments in it seem to be a massive over reaction to what sounds like a suggestion at a consultation meeting

    Indeed. If every suggestion at the Pentland Hills consultations I used to go to made the headlines as fact then all the keyboard warriors on here would be frothing themselves to death.

    “reintroduce” species like wolves

    If we still had bears and wolves the kind of people that are causing this problem probably wouldn’t head out in the first place 8)

    A minimum price on tents to stop them being disposable items would help too, when I last walked the WHW before the camping ban there must have been over a dozen abandoned cheap tents surrounded by empty beer cans and bbqs along the loch. I know that big tents are also used in places like Glen Etive but it would cut part of the problem and incentive out at least.

    Waderider
    Member

    There is no substance to this rumour.

    I can see the plus sides mind you. Example, last time I was at Braveheart carpark in Glen Nevis the undergrowth was full of excrement and bog roll. The problem is broader than just Scottish Central Belt Pishermen. Pressure on the countryside is growing.

    Rampant unrealistic idealism masquerading as feasible solutions above….

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    For those worried about their “freedom” to park their campervan up,

    I wish they would spend a couple of quid on a campsite, supporting local community and business, to park up their £’000’s of worth of camper. 😕

    piemonster
    Member

    The LLTNP Loch Lomond bye laws were the thin end of the wedge.

    Not a very effective wedge so far iirc, pretty sure the one case that’s gone to caught got dropped after the defendant refused to plea guilty or innocent at the fourth(edit 3rd) time of asking.

    Something about the right to wild camp trumped the bye law!? Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. Last in court 4th September.

    Happy to be corrected on the above.

    Edit: page 15 of Scottish Mountaineer if you have it.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    It’s the punish everyone for the actions of a few principle I object to.

    I totally agree.
    However, the pragmatist in me says that scotroutes approach to limit things in places may need to be enforced for the idiots who cannot understand.

    I still stand by the fact that there is little resource and effort and will put into resolving the problem, other than disgruntled locals, a few overworked rangers and rural police. 😐

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    I happened upon a web page ( maybe a F/B page) for Glen Etive this year. It’s worth a look because it illustrates what a bloody nuisance idiot-orientated-car-type camping out in the wilds can be. I wrote a post on it apologising on behalf of all responsible wild-campers, and asking the residents not to take it out on me when I pedalled through with all my camping kit on the bike.

    I happened upon a web page ( maybe a F/B page) for Glen Etive this year. It’s worth a look because it illustrates what a bloody nuisance idiot-orientated-car-type camping out in the wilds can be. I wrote a post on it apologising on behalf of all responsible wild-campers, and asking the residents not to take it out on me when I pedalled through with all my camping kit on the bike.

    I have no facts to prove anything but I’d wager that the vast majority of the perpertrators around Loch Etive are sea anglers.

    andybach
    Member

    Main point is that, it wasn’t a “proposal” FC made it quite clear that it was just a suggestion, a “throw away remark” .

    There are big problems in many areas, with “road-side” camping – i don’t know what the solution is – but the current official debate doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere….

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I have no facts to prove anything but I’d wager that the vast majority of the perpertrators around Loch Etive are sea anglers.

    Most unlikely. It happens in many places, but Glen Etive kind of came into the public eye a bit because of people sharing what was going on on social media
    https://www.facebook.com/Glenetivethedirtytruth/

    poly
    Member

    Not a very effective wedge so far iirc, pretty sure the one case that’s gone to caught got dropped after the defendant refused to plea guilty or innocent at the fourth(edit 3rd) time of asking.

    Something about the right to wild camp trumped the bye law!? Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. Last in court 4th September.

    Something is not quite right about that account. If the accused fails to enter a plea the case can be continued without plea or if there is no reason to continue without plea a not-guilty plea will be recorded on their behalf and dates set for a trial. IF the crown have dropped a case after a continued pleading diet it usually means there is something wrong with the crown case which the defence lawyer has pointed out, or potentially some legal impediment to trial (such as the wrong jurisdiction, or a time limit being exceeded etc.). The crown don’t just drop cases because people refuse to plea – otherwise refusing to plea would become standard defence tactics. Continuing without plea is very common and can happen more than three times. Typical reasons are: to allow for proper service of the citation (if the accused has not appeared); to enable the defence solicitor to be properly instructed; to enable the defence to make investigations; to enable discussions about resolution (essentially plea bargaining!).

    EDIT – I’ve found the story you referred to (http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?PBID=2d389a8d-20e0-45ca-bcfa-ca0b90267622) == I wouldn’t assume the the PF “dropping” the case has anything to do with him refusing to plea (“I don’t think a crime took place” = “not guilty”). Its more likely that there was either a problem with the evidence or the PF just couldn’t be bothered (= “not in public interest”). If the person was light camping and causing “no harm” the fiscal may have been on the opinion that pursuing it wasn’t actually addressing the mischief the law was intended to prevent.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I still stand by the fact that there is little resource and effort and will put into resolving the problem, other than disgruntled locals, a few overworked rangers and rural police.

    For me that is coming at it from the wrong direction though. There is a problem in this country of everyone assuming someone else will/should fix everything for them, be it clearing the pavements of snow, picking up dog mess, clearing up a campsite, etc. This means that everyone gets upset that the council aren’t doing anything to clear the pavement outside their house when it snows instead of clearing it themselves (as is the law in part of the US), or that they aren’t clearing up their bagged dog mess for them, instead of just not leaving it there in the first place, etc .

    If you reinforce this retrospective action by employing more people to clear up the mess, then the problem will never get fixed. Before people even go there they need to know they should not leave litter, not go knowing that someone will clear it up for them if they don’t bother.

    I spent 4 months living in a campervan driving most of the way around Australia, there was barely any litter to be seen in any of the places we stopped or along the roadside despite there being so many people using these places. There are public gas bbq everywhere and most people even clean them after they use them. Coming back here was a real shock, seeing the piles of litter in every layby. I’m sure if we had public bbqs they’d be smashed to bits, covered in broken buckfast bottles and vandalised.

    There’s something wrong with the attitude of people in this country but I don’t know how you would ever change it. For that reason I’d rather see people unable to camp next to their cars in certain places, rather than allowing them to carry on making a huge mess and just employing more people to sort it out and let them get away with it.

    piemonster
    Member

    @Poly

    The way the article reads its seems likely the PF couldn’t be bothered. The exact reason isn’t given, just that the PF “did not wish to proceed any further with the case”

    The article also claims this may have set a “precedent” which if true begs the question where it leaves the bye law.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    @bigjim If you read my earlier post, I actually think masses of eduction (schools, adverts, park rangers speaking to folk etc) is the crux of things.

    We need it on news, politicians speaking about it etc.

    And yes, this still needs backing up with police action – not least because in my experience, and local police in Killin, there was huge correlation between antisocial behaviours in wild places and general criminal activities.

    piemonster
    Member

    There is a problem in this country of everyone assuming someone else will/should fix everything for them

    I think you’re assuming that some of the offending parties care whether it gets cleared up or not. I’m far from convinced of that!

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