Reflecting Back on Another Successful Year for National Park Charity

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 08:27 am

Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, is celebrating another successful year. The charity managed to raise more than £90,000, which has been used to fund several projects throughout the National Park.

The Friends of OUR Park project has been instrumental in raising funds. The scheme involved many local businesses, who used opt-out visitor donation opportunities linked to accommodation and food bills to generate the money. The charity also re-introduced core activities, including Make a Difference Days and Young Friends outdoor programme, and progressed two major Visitor Management Projects.

Furthermore, thanks to a grant from West Dunbartonshire Council’s Year of Young People Legacy Fund, the Friends organised activity days in the National Park for young people in the local area. During the days, they enjoyed participating in many different outdoor activities, such as watersports, climbing and learning bushcraft and other skills as well as learning about nature and the environment.

At the Friends’ AGM at Ross Priory in Gartocharn, Chairman James Fraser and Trustees Dr Joyce Deans, Bill Dalrymple and Paul Saunders all retired from the Board after 45 years of service. They have been replaced by John Urquhart, who moved from the position of Vice Chairman to Chairman, and two new Trustees, Dr Roddy Yarr and Mr Stewart Gibb.

The Chairman highlighted the Friends’ campaigning and lobbying on matters affecting the National Park, such as the proposed A82 upgrade, and visitor management issues. He also thanked the Friends’ business supporters and sponsors, the loyal members, and various partners, including the National Park Authority, for their support.

At the end of the meeting, two interesting talks were delivered. John Urquhart provided an update on the campaign for a major re-think of the plans for the A82 upgrade on Loch Lomondside, followed by Gordon Watson, the National Park Authority Chief Executive on current and future priorities of the National Park.

Presentations were made to James Fraser, Joyce Deans, Bill Dalrymple and Paul Saunders by the Friends Honorary President, Sir Malcolm Colquhoun, to acknowledge their hard work and dedication to the Friends.

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