More than three years ago, the National Park Authority introduced the seasonal East Loch Lomond Camping bylaw banning unauthorised camping and alcohol. This was aimed at enhancing visitor experience.

At a meeting of the National Park Authority board on Monday, members approved the launch of the Your Park consultation ahead of bringing in additional bylaws in two more areas in response to issues of littering and anti-social behaviour.

Fiona Logan, chief executive of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “The National Park is within an hour’s drive of more than 50 per cent of Scotland’s population and this gives us specific problems, which – despite our best efforts – have been escalating.

“The package of measures we are proposing has been developed in conjunction with partners and local communities and reflects our wholesale commitment to dramatically improving the experience of the park for both residents and visitors, whether they camp overnight, or come for the day to walk, swim, kayak, or simply enjoy a picnic.

“Our proposals include significant investment in camping facilities and new bylaws to support more sustainable amounts of camping and to tackle the damage caused by anti-social camping.” The report presented to the board detailed ‘resounding success’ of the existing bylaw system, which is delivered in partnership with Police Scotland and the Forestry Commission Scotland.

The operation invested in new facilities and regulating where camping takes place, and police say vandalism and reports of anti-social behaviour are down 81 per cent in the regulated areas.

Further to this, the National Park Authority has been recording what it calls ‘entrenched problems’ experienced during the summer season at other ‘hot spot’ locations in the wider park area – including Luss – which are often left in a ‘poor and deteriorating state’.

In response to the issues raised, it is proposed that camping management bylaws be introduced to West Loch Lomond/north east Loch Long and the wider Trossachs, as well as making minor boundary amendment to the existing East Loch Lomond zone.

The proposed rules would make it an offence to cause damage to the area and its wildlife and regulate where and when visitors can camp, for example in authorised site or by permit.

They would be in effect from March 1, to October 31, each year and apply to less than five per cent of the park’s 720 square miles.

Ian MacEachern, convener of Luss and Arden Community Council, told the Advertiser the area suffers from anti-social behaviour when an influx of 750,000 visitors hit the shores, particularly during the summer months.

Mr MacEachern said there are two main issues the village contends with when it comes to anti-social behaviour: large groups of youths who ignore the notice of ‘no swimming’ on the pier; and campers littering.

He added: “It is not unusual to have groups of 70 to 80 on the pier at the same time – many of whom are drinking. Their noise, language, and aggressiveness is very off putting to locals and many visitors from foreign counties have commented to local people on how shocked they are with this behaviour and have said that it would not be tolerated where they come from.

“In relation to camping, visitors frequently decide to wander around at night time after they have been drinking for several hours. Understandably the shouting and bawling in the middle of the night is very intimidating to residents.” He added that fences have been used for firewood, gardens have been vandalised, and bins have been set alight.

Parking in the village is also a ‘major’ problem with local residents struggling to find a space on their own street.

This week, the board members agreed a 12-week public consultation to take place between October, 13, 2014, and January 12, 2015, as the next step in achieving the National Park Partnership Plan vision.