Enabling Responsible Access
In February 2020, Scottish Water launched its Strategic Plan within which we committed to connect communities with their local environment and to support tourism by enabling access to our assets, where appropriate, for leisure purposes. We recognise that our reservoirs provide important access to green space and that they are immensely valued by visitors. Connection with our natural environment is an essential pillar of both physical and mental wellbeing and we are conscious of the important role reservoirs play in many people’s lives.
Scottish Water sites have been selected as pilot locations and will be our focus for exploring how we can better support visitor experience. The pilot locations were selected based on their popularity, history of challenges such as antisocial behaviour and the opportunity to work with partners. They are at the forefront of Scottish Water’s exploration of how we better enable responsible access.
The pilot sites are:
- Milngavie Reservoir
- Carron Valley Reservoir, Stirlingshire
- North Third Reservoir, Stirlingshire
- Gladhouse Reservoir, Midlothian
At each site launched a visitor experience survey to better understand visitor behaviour and perceptions and gain insights to help determine ways to improve visitor experience. We are committed to engaging with local stakeholder groups to ensure a range of views continue to be reflected. Through these insights, plus learning from Visitor Management experts, we are working to implement different trials and activities in the 2023 season.
While most visitors come to enjoy the great outdoors responsibly, some unfortunately do not. We are aware of a range of issues and challenges faced at reservoirs sites across the country such as antisocial behaviour, littering, irresponsible camping, fires and a general disregard for the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Working to educate and inform visitors about what responsible behaviour looks like, we work in partnership with others to encourage people to know the go before they go, plan their visit and behave responsibly. We are also committed to raising awareness and understanding of the risks water poses, and why reservoirs are different to many other bodies of water.
More information on these topics can be found below.