Stirling Council and the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park have reiterated their request for visitors to act responsibly ahead of the last weekend of level 4 Lockdown restrictions.
Hospitality and retail will re-open on Monday, 26 April as mainland Scotland moves to Level 3 for the first time since Christmas.
The final few days of the current Covid-19 restrictions, combined with a fair weather forecast, are anticipated to bring another busy weekend to Stirling’s rural beauty spots, and the Council and National Park are appealing for people to plan ahead before setting out.
Carol Beattie, Stirling Council Chief Executive, said: “People flocked to rural Stirling last weekend as predicted and we were happy to see visitors enjoying some of our treasured attractions. There were also signs of positive engagement from the majority of people, who acted responsibly, parked safely and took their litter home.
“However, some attractions like Balmaha and Rowardennan were still extremely busy and Police Scotland eventually had to close the B837 on Saturday afternoon due to careless parking. That’s a situation we all want to avoid and, sadly, the Council also had to hand out over 100 parking tickets to drivers who ignored our repeated messages for people to park safely.
“We all know how important it is to get out and about and enjoy the new freedoms we’re being granted, and this weekend will be the last before we can all visit shops and cafes again, but we still need visitors to act responsibly, avoid crowded spaces and consider how their actions impact others.”
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “We had a very busy weekend, particularly on Saturday when we saw lots of families enjoying the freedom to travel a bit further afield to enjoy the sunshine here in the National Park. We have been working closely with partners such as local authorities, Police Scotland and Forestry & Land Scotland to prepare for this reopening so we had a well-co-ordinated significant staff presence on the ground to welcome visitors back.
“I want to thank everyone who enjoyed the Park responsibly for playing their part in protecting this special place. The high volume of visitors we are now experiencing does bring with it challenges, especially when it comes to parking and litter so I would encourage anyone planning a trip this weekend to plan ahead to make their visit as safe and enjoyable as possible.
“Check our social media or website for live information on car parking availability and make sure you have a Plan B in case you arrive to find car parks full. There are dozens of stunning spots off the beaten track in the National Park where you can escape the crowds, such as Loch Goil and the Cowal Peninsula. And please remember that we are only welcoming day trippers at the moment, we ask that campers wait just a little bit longer until overnight stays are permitted on 26th April.”