New tourist facilities at one of Scotland’s national parks will put the attraction on a par with Yosemite in the US, management has said.
Over the next five years the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park will benefit from new campsites, toilets and recycling banks, as well as parking bays, barbecue stands and picnic benches.
The Five Lochs Visitor Management Plan covers sites around Loch Venachar, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Earn, Loch Achray and Loch Voil.
The National Park Authority will invest £850,000 in the first stage of development and said it is working with local communities and the public and private sectors for the next stages of investment.
Authority chairwoman Linda McKay said: “We are fortunate to have some of the most beautiful loch shore sites in Scotland and some of the most impressive landscapes in the world. The Five Lochs Visitor Management Plan will help raise the standard of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park to be on a par with our US counterparts such as Yosemite, where visitor needs are catered for and the tourism industry has a huge impact on the national economy.”
The National Park Authority has submitted planning proposals to start the five-year plan at Loch Lubnaig in February.
Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford welcomed the announcement.
He said: “By providing visitors with a rounded experience and enhancing popular sites with new facilities, our national parks can rival some of the world’s top visitor destinations.”