National park authority policy on litter is completely baffling
I, LIKE Dave Morris (Letters, December 19), attended the recent meeting of the Loch Lomond National Park Board. Indeed, I have attended all such national park authority (NPA) board meetings over the past two years without exception. I have noted with increasing incredulity over that time, the park authority’s lack of willingness to engage with other authorities in any meaningful discussion with their perception of the Loch Lomond-side litter problem. There have indeed been no board discussions about what it claims as one of the key justifications for a camping ban by-law, and indeed no talks, even at NPA officer level, have taken place with other like local authority officers. This was confirmed for the first time by board member and officer statements at the last meeting. No answers on why were on offer.
It seems to me that it has been far more important to the NPA to retain the problem of littering than it is to do anything constructive at all to address the problem – such as devising a jointaction strategy, with Argyll & Bute and Stirling councils. Few litter bins are sited on Loch Lomond-side A82 laybys, and any that are so placed, are seldom emptied before their contents are re-distributed all around the area by the wind. This keeps the public’s focus away from unapplied “solutions”, and firmly on unsolvable “problems” instead. Most of the accumulated roadside litter left is locally well understood to originate primarily with day visitors, and A82 traffic, and not campers.
Why would any public authority pursue such a negative course of inaction on litter? Could there be a greater NPA goal of finding reason to ban camping, unless it is paid for in designated camp-sites or as paid camping permits as commercial park income, is the most pressing shortterm unstated strategic objective currently confronting this authority? Mr Morris’s nightmare prognosis is spot-on, once the casual criminalisation of law-abiding campers and others starts at the end of March 2017. Peter Jack, 9 George Street, Helensburgh. FURTHER to your recent article in regarding the increase of raptor species noted by gamekeepers in Scotland, this is both encouraging and confusing (“Gamekeepers report rise in raptor species on estates, claims grouse campaign group”, The Herald, December 7). Just last month there were several articles in the press about the concerns of the RSPB and the Scottish Wildlife Trust regarding the on-going persecution of raptor species near grouse moors.
In the last 20 years, all over the UK there has been a significant increase in buzzard and kite numbers, which is very encouraging.
What is strange is that this trend does not appear to be replicated across vast swathes of Scotland where the habitat is ideal for these raptor species to thrive.
After spending a week and half on holiday in and around Aberfeldy and Glen Lyon area this year, we were surprised to see so few raptors. We only saw one buzzard all week.
No kites and certainly no harriers. Strange, as the surrounding habitat is ideal for these species to thrive however probably not surprising due to the proximity of so many shooting estates.
We did see several ospreys, which again was encouraging but as they don’t prey on ground nesting birds, makes us all very suspicious of what is actually going on out there. Robin Waddell, 9 Blacket Place, Edinburgh.