Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Final Visitor Management Plan Approved And Seasonal Access Rangers Appointed For Highland

24th April 2021

The Highland Council's Tourism Committee has approved a final draft Visitor Management Plan for 2021 yesterday (Wednesday 21 April) which aims to assist communities and the public during the anticipated busy summer months.

Chair of the Tourism Committee, Cllr Gordon Adam said: "Welcoming visitors back to the Highlands from Monday 26 April is a positive sign that the road to recovery can finally commence. Tourism is a vital contributor to our economy and provides employment across Highland. However, we are all acutely aware of the pressures on our communities, infrastructure, transport network and landscape. We all play an important part in encouraging responsible visitor behaviour. The Highlands are visited for their beauty and warm Highland welcome, but we urge people to be mindful of COVID-19 regulations and to keep the place beautiful for others to enjoy and to protect the fragile environment."

Members discussed the information outlined by Council Services in a report that provided additional detail on a range of activities to be undertaken for the 2021 season and agreed that further activities may be required that need an immediate solution.

As a result of a particularly busy and demanding summer season in 2020, a need for engagement with visitors to the Highlands has been prioritised. The use of Rangers dealing specifically with promoting the Scottish Outdoor Access Code is an agreed solution.

Visitor numbers have been steadily increasing over many years but the situation caused by COVID- 19 has increased issues with irresponsible access and created a number of anti-social issues related to informal camping, such as overcrowding, dirty camping, bad parking, littering, fires, damage to trees, outdoor toileting and overflowing bins.

The new Ranger posts will liaise with other services and partners and take a co-ordinated approach to visitor management particularly in ‘honeypot’ sites. They will be the eyes and ears of the Council and report back to relevant services where there are issues which need to be addressed.

Seasonal Access Rangers will;

Engage face-to-face with visitors, explaining and encouraging adherence of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Monitor visitor use, impacts and incidents while reporting on a weekly basis.
Speak to informal campers to explain responsible access and ‘leave no trace’.
Reduce the number of open fires by explaining the impacts: damage to vegetation; alarm to residents and improving awareness of risks and how to mitigate risks if fires are used.
Reduce the amount of litter by: encouraging visitors to take home what they bring; collecting litter; reporting large quantities of litter and issuing fixed penalty notices if appropriate.
Encourage responsible parking; prevent obstructive parking; and assist with parking enforcement if necessary.
Liaise with communities and landowners when issues arise, working together on solutions. Establish local volunteer Rangers to assist in busy periods.
Improve and maintain the Council-owned or managed countryside sites; and some of the most heavily used paths particularly to popular natural visitor attractions.
The Council has agreed funding for 10 of these posts and is awaiting confirmation of Better Places 2 funding through NatureScot for a further 7 posts. These extra posts are in co-operation with local organisations; Skye Connect, Wester Ross Biosphere, Applecross Trust & Visit Inverness Loch Ness.

In order to further improve and develop the Visitor Management Plan, The Highland Council has begun to engage with public sector partners and other interest groups. This is intended to continue and a wider Visitor Management Group will be established which will seek feedback from a variety of stakeholders, including tourism businesses and communities affected.

Highland looks forward to welcoming visitors once again from next week. It is important for visitors to plan ahead, especially as restrictions may be different from their home region. Visit Scotland has useful and practical information for tourists on its website


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Council calls for a share for Highland in renewable energy profits
Members at today's full meeting of Highland Council agreed a motion from the Leader and Chair of Corporate Resources, which would call for a fairer share of income derived from the development of the region’s natural resources to establish a Highland Renewable Fund.   In the motion Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson, highlighted that at a time when private energy companies are making huge profits from the abundance of natural resources of wind and water in the Highlands the region’s roads were suffering.  
National Mòd Asks Highland Council For A Further £80,000 To Run The Inverness Mòd 2021
At the Highland Council Gaelic committee to beheld on 18th May 2021 the committee will be asked to agree that the National Mòd for Inverness in 2021 should be given a further £80,000.   The council has an agreement to pay £40,000 annually that aids the Mod to come to Highland every three years.  
Anja Johnston From Thurso Becomes The 13th Highland Youth ConvenorThumbnail for article : Anja Johnston From Thurso Becomes The 13th Highland Youth Convenor
Anja Johnston from Thurso will take up the role of Highland Youth Convener early in May 2021 This full-time role is a bursary position that will run for 12 months.   The 24-year-old, has previously worked as an Assistant Youth Worker, delivering the YOJO digital youth project with High Life Highland.  
Positive uptake of the Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO) across region
Since the launch of the Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO) in March 2021, there has been a positive uptake of the grant scheme across Highland as 157 applications have been approved in principle, with 73 recruited/currently being recruited.   HERO is funded by The Highland Council and the Scottish Government under the No One Left Behind and Young Person's Guarantee Funding Streams.  
Grant award allocated towards delivery of 20 mph programme in Highland
Members of the Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee have agreed to allocate up to £200k of the Council's Cycling, Walking and Safer Routes 2021/22 grant award to the delivery of a new Council 20mph programme, and 10% of this annual budget is to be used in future years.   The introduction of more 20 mph speed limits on Highland roads will help the Council to meet the challenging road casualty reduction targets set out in the new Scottish Road Safety Framework launched in February this year.  
Highland Council and partners keeping businesses and people safe in the Highlands
With the majority of businesses re-opening this week, Highland Council's Environmental Health team with assistance from Police Scotland will be undertaking joint visits to premises throughout the Highlands.   The visits aim to help raise public confidence that businesses are doing all they can to protect public safety as the lockdown restrictions are eased.  
Highland sets its sights on multi-million pound transport investment
A bid to fund the design and delivery of over £55 Million of transport infrastructure in Highland was submitted to Transport Scotland today.   A partnership including The Highland Council, bus operators and other stakeholders has put together a package of measures to prioritise buses in congested parts of the network.  
1,000 followers needed on Highland Council YouTube!
The Highland Council is inviting people to follow them on YouTube so that the local authority can broadcast live the Highland constituencies and the Highland and Islands Regional results.   Please follow (subscribe to) Highland Council's YouTube at: (external link) Constituency and Regional Returning Officer, Donna Manson explained: "Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the need to provide a safe election we are facing new challenges and opportunities in delivering the Scottish Parliamentary Election count and declaration of results.  
Caithness Committee Members Approve £310,848 For Twelve Projects
Twelve successful projects have been awarded a share of £409,652 Highland Coastal Communities Fund (HCCF) yesterday (Thursday 22 April 2021) by The Highland Council's Caithness Committee.   £98,803 was agreed to be invested in moving forward an economic development project that will benefit the whole of Caithness, with a view to securing match funding for local partners.  
Inverness Leisure To Become Covid-safe Count Centre
The largest leisure centre in the Highlands will temporarily suspend sporting activities in favour of regional democracy when it becomes one of the locations where votes in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections will be counted.   Douglas Wilby, Director of Sport and Leisure with High Life Highland said, "We have been working closely with the Returning Officer and colleagues in The Highland Council to accommodate the substantial changes in the way this count is taking place, in order to offer those involved a COVID-safe environment.