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Officials: Loch Lomond's banks bonnier

UPI News Service, 01/04/2013 

New regulations aimed at littering and illegal camping and fires at one of Scotland's most celebrated lakes have been a success, officials said Friday.

The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said "peace and tranquillity" have been restored to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, The Scotsman reported.

During the 2012 summer season, park rangers gathered only 13 bags of litter, the authority said, down from 803 bags in 2010. Only 16 groups were discovered camping outside of authorized sites in June and July compared with 1,106 incidents in 2010.

In the past, visitors even cut down trees for firewood, something that has almost stopped, officials said.

"Communities have seen a marked improvement in visitor behavior, and businesses are seeing real economic benefits with families returning to the area, adding to the local economy and enjoying the tranquility," said Fiona Logan, the authority's executive director.

The new regulations took effect last June. The Loch Lomond Association suggested they have simply driven vandals to other areas in the park and discouraged people from boating in Loch Lomond and getting close to nature.

"The authority wants to create a park that's for looking at from through a windshield -- they don't want people out there getting down and dirty and enjoying the park," said Peter Jack, the chairman.

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