Research into supporting promoting responsible camping published

Alan Robertson

The majesty and beauty of Scotland’s landscape and outdoor spaces are a magnet for visitors from all over the UK and the wider world.

Access rights under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 make Scotland support freedoms to access the land and wild camp rarely matched elsewhere in the world. These access rights bring considerable benefits to the public, and enable visitors to Scotland to connect even more meaningfully to nature and the outdoors.

With the increase in ‘staycations’ as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, Scotland became a prime destination for people to visit from across the UK with subsequent positive opportunities for rural businesses and communities.

However, increasing numbers of visitors to the Scottish outdoors have also highlighted a number of challenges, and key bodies engaged in access, visitor and land management have developed a visitor management strategy to address some of these.  This work has highlighted a specific issue around illegal and irresponsible behaviour when camping with tents out with managed camping facilities, which is detrimental to the environment, the local community and the enjoyment and health of other visitors to the outdoors.

This research was commissioned to provide the Scottish Government with further insight into irresponsible behaviour when camping with tents out with managed camping facilities. The ultimate aim was for the research to inform a behaviour change strategy to promote responsible behaviour so that future visitors act in a way that maintains the pristine and unique nature of the Scottish outdoors.

You can find the full report including recommendations here