In the first of a new occasional series of columns from the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, chief executive Gordon Watson writes about the new season of camping byelaws, which came into force on March 1.

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It may only just be March but we’ve already had a glimpse of the warmer weather that’s hopefully on the way.

Last year’s amazing summer brought a record number of visitors to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and no doubt people’s minds are turning to enjoying the outdoors again.

There are loads of great ways to do this in the National Park and camping is one of the most popular.

With so many people wanting to spend a night under the stars, the sheer volume of visitors can have a negative impact some of our most fragile lochshores.

READ MORE: Hundreds rapped over National Park camping breaches

That’s why from March 1 until September 30, seasonal camping byelaws are in effect in some areas of the National Park. The byelaws manage camping and firelighting at some lochshores.

You can still camp in these areas but you will need a camping permit or to stay in a campsite, and you can still wild camp in the vast majority of the National Park, outside of these areas.

So if you are planning a camping trip it’s best to plan ahead, check if the area you want to go to is covered by the byelaws and if so, book your permit or campsite in advance.

Many people don’t realise that collecting firewood has a damaging effect on wildlife, so please bring your own wood if you’re planning a campfire, as irresponsible fire-lighting is also covered by the byelaws.

And even if you’re just planning a day trip, there are things you can do to enjoy your visit whilst helping to protect the environment of the National Par

Litter, for example, doesn’t just spoil a great view but can be harmful to wildlife. Please put your litter in a bin or if bins are full, or there are none, take it home with you.

READ MORE: Litter 'should be top priority' for National Park's board

We are incredibly lucky to have this special place on our doorstep. Working together we can make sure that people can continue to enjoy the National Park for years to come.

For more information about the National Park or to book a camping permit, visit