East Dunbartonshire Council and its partners have launched a 10 year plan to protect and promote the Campsie Fells. The action plan covers five key themes to improve accessibility; to ensure that future tourism and visitor activity is sustainable; to raise awareness of the fells as well as enjoyment and education; to support the local economic environment by promoting and facilitating inward investment and all importantly to conserve and enhance the Campsies.

Funded by the Central Scotland Green Network, The Strategic Review and Action Plan was developed following an extensive consultation exercise which took place at the start of 2011.

Starting just north of Glasgow, the Campsies extend from Lennoxtown through Killearn, Kippen and Kilsyth and are accessible from Glasgow, Stirling, Falkirk and Edinburgh.

The Plan is the work of the Campsie Fells Steering Group* and aims to increase tourism at the natural beautyspot while ensuring that the area is preserved and remains unspoiled.

Councillor John Dempsey, Chair of the Steering Group, launched the Action Plan at the Crow Road carpark in Lennoxtown at the foot of the hills.

He said, “It is vital that we work with our partners to make the very best of the wonderful asset we have on our doorstep. This Action Plan aims to do just that but not at the expense of the natural environment. At the heart of the Action Plan is the need to protect natural habitats and species while opening up the area to as many visitors as possible, be they ramblers or cyclists.”

One of the first developments to come out of the Action Plan will be a Campsies microsite which is set to be ready in a few months’ time. Other work to be carried out includes:

·        Improving signposting and installing interpretative boards

·        Increasing horse riding opportunities

·        Applying for Green Tourism Business Scheme accreditation

·        Commissioning a habitat survey

In May last year, the Steering Group launched a useful leaflet of the area. As well as having a handy map of the area it contained descriptions of what visitors can enjoy:

·        A glimpse of part of the Antonine Wall which is now a World Heritage Site

·        A stroll along the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal

·        A well deserved rest overlooking one of two reservoirs

·        A lunch stop at Mugdock Country Park, at one of the many nearby villages or at the splendid Culcreuch Castle

·        A look around the ancient Baldernock Church, Glengoyne Distillery, the historical home at Colzium or the Roman Baths site in Bearsden.

* The Campsie Fells Steering Group includes the following partners:

·        East Dunbartonshire Council

·        Falkirk Council

·        North Lanarkshire Council

·        Stirling Council

·        Forestry Commission Scotland

·        Scottish Natural Heritage

The Campsie Fells Strategic Review and Action Plan document is now available to the public on the East Dunbartonshire Council website.