Published 28 May 2021
A number of new measures have been put in place at the Kilpatrick Hills to ensure the beauty spot remains safe and enjoyable for all despite increased visitor numbers.
Action is being taken after lockdown saw a vast increase in visitors – with some weeks recording six times more people attending compared to 2019.
The heightened interest in the area led to increased waste and littering, inappropriate road-side parking, increased traffic, negative effects on the environment, anti-social behaviour and disruption to local residents.
Now West Dunbartonshire Council is working with partners including Police Scotland and Forestry & Land Scotland to implement measures which will ensure the rural area is properly protected.
Two additional rangers will patrol the area seven days a week over the summer season to ensure visitors have a positive experience at the hills.
In addition, a temporary car park at Gavinburn in Old Kilpatrick, which is the main access point to the Kilpatrick Hills, will be put in place from mid May to ensure there is more space for vehicles and discourage road-side parking.
The Council’s Greenspace team will also carry out additional litter patrols around all of the access points and car parks that serve the Kilpatrick Hills, and large bins will be installed at the entrance to Cochno Hill to assist with increased levels of littering.
To ensure all visitors are aware of their responsibilities when enjoying green spaces around Scotland, information will be shared on Council channels and new signage has been placed at access points detailing the key points of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
It is also expected that Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTRO) will be introduced to impose restrictions on a number of locations close to the Kilpatrick hills. These will include:
Monitoring of these restrictions will be carried out in partnership with Police Scotland and the Council’s Roads team will also programme traffic counts and monitor vehicle movements to determine whether traffic calming measures are required.
Council Leader, Councillor Jonathan McColl, said: “We are lucky that we live in an area which has so much natural beauty to offer and I am delighted that our residents have been making the most of these green spaces.
“This action is not intended to discourage people from visiting and enjoying the Kilpatrick Hills, but rather are preventative measures to ensure the area is properly protected and can be enjoyed for many more years to come.”
Councillor Iain McLaren, Convener of Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “It is vitally important that we take good care of our natural environment and ensure that when we visit these beauty spots that we leave no trace behind. The additional bins and litter patrol will mean these sites will not be scarred by discarded waste, and the signage will encourage all visitors to treat the area with respect.
“The traffic orders are necessary to ensure that visitors are parking safely in designated areas and minimising any danger to other road users. I would ask that all visitors adhere to these.”
A supplementary report will be brought to a future meeting to allow members to reflect on the effectiveness of the measures.