Enabling Responsible Access
Here in Scotland, we’re very lucky to have lots of beautiful reservoirs, rivers, and lochs.
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.
Three 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:
- Craigmaddie and Mugdock reservoirs in Milngavie
- Carron Valley and North Third reservoirs in Stirlingshire
- Gladhouse reservoir in Midlothian
At each site we will launch a visitor experience survey to understand visitor behaviour and perceptions, delivering insights to help determine ways to improve visitor experience. We will also engage local stakeholder groups to ensure a range of views are reflected. Through these insights, plus learning from Visitor Management experts, we are working to implement different trials and activity in the 2022 season.
Beyond these, 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 promote responsible behaviour at our reservoirs, our Respect Our Reservoirs campaign runs throughout the season encouraging people to know the go before they go, plan their visit and behave responsibly.
The campaign also incorporates water safety messaging as it is vital we raise awareness and understanding among visitors of the risks reservoirs pose and how they differ from other bodies of water.
Below you will find information about these two key campaigns.