Opening the way
Loch Leven is such a diverse stretch of water, in such a fine rural landscape, that people have always wanted to explore its shores. As early as 1860, there was an unsuccessful legal bid to win access rights. The introduction of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 provided the opportunity for a new approach to access, based around the Loch Leven Heritage Trail, developed by TRACKS (The Rural Access Committee for Kinross-shire) with grant-aid from Scottish Natural Heritage.
Rights and responsibilities
The Scottish right of outdoor access comes with important responsibilities for considerate behaviour. Following detailed local consultations, we produced guidance on responsible access to the Reserve in 2005 (revised the next year). This welcomes access along the lochside trail, and to parts of the Loch for canoes, kayaks and rowing boats in spring and summer, and provides advice on minimising the risk of disturbance to birds and other wildlife. You can read the access guidance here.
We have been active partners in the Loch Leven Heritage Trail project, which has developed an attractive, all-abilities trail. The 8 mile trail follows the west shore from Kinross and round the north of the Loch to the RSPB visitor centre on the southern side. We helped provide loch viewpoints on the path, while managing the most sensitive areas to avoid disturbance to wildlife. The car park at Burleigh has been extended, and we built new bird hides around the Loch. We have zoned the most popular access points as Discovery Areas, with interpretation and orientation boards to inform visitors. We treat the rest of the trail as a tranquil zone, where conservation has priority and the emphasis is on quiet enjoyment of wildlife and scenery - features we know most visitors appreciate.
Last updated on Thursday 12th July 2012 at 09:37 AM. Click here to comment on this page