Visitors to Scotland’s great outdoors are being urged to continue to respect, protect and enjoy our parks, beaches and countryside during this weekend’s expected heatwave.
Scotland’s environment agencies – including NatureScot, VisitScotland, Forestry & Land Scotland, Scottish Water and the Cairngorms and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Parks – have come together to thank the public for caring for our most beautiful places this summer.
With record numbers of people visiting Scotland’s outdoors this year reports from staff on the ground say the vast majority are helping to keep Scotland special by following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code when out and about.
Heading into the busiest summer period and with a heatwave forecast this weekend, people are being urged to keep up the good work.
Eileen Stuart, NatureScot’s Deputy Director for Nature & Climate Change, said: “Our National Nature Reserves have been extremely busy again this summer and it’s great to see so many people enjoying the outdoors and connecting with nature.
“While we have experienced isolated incidents of anti-social behaviour and wildlife disturbance, we’re pleased to say that the vast majority of people are behaving responsibly as they enjoy their visits. With a heatwave on the horizon, we hope that will continue as we head into the busiest part of the year.“
Adam Streeter-Smith, Outdoor Access Officer at the Cairngorms National Park Authority, said: “We are looking forward to finer weather this weekend, which brings more people outside but also brings a greater fire risk.
“Whether you are visiting for the first time or just enjoying the place where you live please don’t light campfires in the National Park, stick to a camping stove for your cooking and follow local advice for the area.”
Kenny Auld, Head of Visitor Services at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “Lots of people will be planning to get out and about this weekend and we are lucky in Scotland to have so many outstanding options right on our doorstep.
“National Park Rangers will be on the ground engaging with visitors and providing information on how they can enjoy their visit while respecting the environment, communities and wildlife here in the National Park. Our top tip is to plan ahead: check the live car park updates on our website, bring a bag so you can take your litter away and think about where your nearest toilets will be.”
Vicki Miller, Director of Marketing & Digital at VisitScotland, said: “We’ve seen a fantastic reaction to the Responsible Tourism campaign, both through VisitScotland’s own activity and our partners, since it was launched in March as part of a Scotland-wide strategic and coordinated approach to visitor management.
“This work will continue and the message remains as important, to ask visitors to #RespectProtectEnjoy the outdoors and communities, right through the summer holidays to ensure our beautiful country is retained for others to enjoy.”