“Each day has its own mood. This one has vigorous clarity. The crags of nearby Conic hill are grey. The heather is warm. The white blocks of quartz on Ben Lomond sparkly like snow. Tom Weir 1976
Scotland has two National Parks: The Cairngorms National Park and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
Established in 2002 by the Scottish Parliament Loch Lomond and The Trossachs was the first one.
An area of outstanding beauty with over 21 Munros, 22 lochs, and a huge variety of wildlife, the park is managed by the National Park Authority Board. This is an executive non governmental public body of the Scottish Government.
The National Park Authority Board is made up of seventeen Board Members. Five members are elected by the community and twelve are appointed by Scottish Ministers, six of these following nomination by the Local Authorities. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
You would think that an area of such natural beauty and easily accessible to most of the population of Scotland would be safe from developers. Think again .
A planning application , 2018/0133/PPP, was lodged last year by Flamingo Land Limited & Scottish Enterprise for:-
The erection and operation of a tourism and leisure led mixed use development including hotel, bunkhouse accommodation and self-catering holiday lodges; erection of boathouse for storage and water based recreation; residential development; leisure and recreational facilities including swimming pool, water park, visitor reception and education/interpretation facilities; hot food/café restaurant uses; brewery; ancillary uses including retail; conversion and extension of Woodbank House to flats and conversion of existing outbuildings to self-catering accommodation; public realm enhancements including public square improvements, footpaths and cycleways; external activity areas including forest adventure rides, tree top walkway, monorail, events/performance areas, picnic areas and play areas; staff and service areas; landscaping; new access from Ben Lomond Way and Pier Road; and site development infrastructure (including SUDS, and parking). | Land At Pier Road, Ben Lomond Way And Old Luss Road, Known As West Riverside And Woodbank House, Balloch.
Now you might also think – why should The Orkney News report on a development so far from Orkney?
Orcadians have always been outward looking and never confined themselves to 12 nautical miles from our shores. Many of our readers may have enjoyed visiting Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, walked the West Highland Way or even have watched those wonderful programmes made by Tom Weir when he enthused about Scotland’s landscape and wildlife. Or you may just care that we are losing far too many of our wild places to developers.
Scot, John Muir , the father of the National Parks Service in the USA campaigned most of his adult life to protect natural wild places so that generations to come would be able to visit and enjoy the spectacular environment we are privileged to have.
But not for long if we allow vast commercial intrusive developments to take place.
Ross Greer MSP, Scottish Greens, is leading the campaign to “HELP SAVE LOCH LOMOND – Say no to Flamingo Land in Balloch”.
Ross Greer has met with the developers to find out more about this huge project. What it boils down to for Greer is, ‘selling off public land for profit and at the expense of ancient woodland, local wildlife and those who currently enjoy our National Park.’
“Flamingo Land say that the woodland will be accessible for people to walk and relax as it currently is. This may be technically true, but how much less welcoming will it be for local people to walk past the doors of holiday lodges, past corporate signage and beneath treetop walkways?
“Flamingo Land would unavoidably privatise public space at one of our nation’s greatest landmarks.”
If you want to send in your objections to the development you can do so here: Help save Loch Lomond
“There is a love of wild Nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.” ― John Muir
Reporter: Fiona Grahame