The Friends have stepped in for a third year to coordinate the provision and maintenance of temporary toilets between April and October at the two busy visitor hotspots of Duck Bay on Loch Lomondside and the Cobbler Car Park at the head of Loch Long in Arrochar.
These much needed toilets are being jointly funded by the National Park, Argyll & Bute Council, the Hannah Stirling Loch Lomond Trust and the Friends through the Friends of OUR Park visitor giving scheme. The Cawley Group, via Alan Cawley, is also providing sponsorship in kind, with staff from the Duck Bay Hotel & Restaurant regularly cleaning the Duck Bay toilets and stocking them with toiletries, while Sam Newell of Honeywagon has also provided ‘in kind’ sponsorship by discounting the cost of temporary toilet units hire and regular effluent emptying services.
Luss Estates are funding the provision of additional temporary toilets in Arrochar which are cleaned by seasonal wardens employed by the Friends working in partnership with the local Arrochar & Tarbet Development Trust and Luss Estates staff.
James Fraser, Chair of the Friends said: ‘’ I am very pleased we have managed to secure funding from public and private sector partners to provide temporary toilets at these busy sites again for this tourist season which is already shaping up to be very busy with large influxes of overseas and UK visitors.
Based on surveys undertaken last year it is anticipated these temporary toilets will be used by well over 100,000 visitors this year and there is clearly a need to provide more permanent toilets at these sites which are both beside very tourist routes and are popular in their own right with visitors getting their first glimpse of Loch Lomond at Duck Bay Picnic Area and being able to gain access to the busy Cobbler Mountain from Arrochar.’’
Duncan MacLachlan, Chair of the Arrochar and Tarbet Development Trust said: ‘’These temporary toilets are playing a vital role in meeting the basic needs of visitors at these popular visitor sites and I am grateful to the various funders for contributing to this welcome collaborative effort being led by the Friends again.
Hopefully, with support from the VisitScotland Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund more permanent toilets and other improvements at these visitor hotspots can be progressed soon as we have proven beyond all doubt over the last three years that there is a need for these basic visitor infrastructure improvements at these two sites which between them attract over 500,000 visitors annually.’’
Disappointingly, a bid by the Friends, to secure funding from the NatureScot Green Recovery grant scheme to provide an expanded village warden scheme for the villages of Arrochar, Tarbet and Luss, was recently unsuccessful despite the high level of visitor pressures these small communities suffer from. Over the past two years a very successful community led warden scheme, with support from NatureScot and others, was delivered in Tarbet and Arrochar in partnership with the local Development Trust and the Friends.