We fully recognise how important it is for physical and mental health to get into the countryside in the current circumstances, but before planning a trip to the Lomond Hills Regional Park (LHRP), please think about how busy it has been. If possible, please exercise closer to home or choose a quieter location elsewhere.
As many people will have seen in the news and on social media, there were significant issues in the LHRP last weekend due to the high volume of visitors. Car parks were full and access roads were blocked by parking on verges and in passing places. The traffic management issues created at places such as Craigmead, East Lomond, and Glenvale caused access challenges for emergency services, local communities and farmers. Furthermore, the crowds at these locations present a very real transmission risk of COVID-19.
Fife Coast and Countryside Trust are working with Police Scotland to try to avoid a repeat of last weekend’s incidents. This weekend there will be an increased FCCT and Police Scotland presence in the LHRP.
Two incidents of sheep worrying were reported to FCCT last week, and with just a few weeks until lambing starts, sheep worrying is a key concern. Heavily pregnant sheep can abort their lambs if chased by dogs. We would ask all dog walkers to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and keep dogs on a lead or under close control.
We would also remind owners of 4x4s, motorbikes and quad bikes that off-road access in the countryside is not permitted unless permission has been granted by the landowner.
Current Government COVID -19 guidance advises that crowded places should be avoided, individuals can meet with only one person from another household outside and that we should stay within our regional boundaries, during this phase of lockdown.
We thank you for your support. Please enjoy the countryside, but try to avoid busy places.