Stirling Council have decided to close additional rural car parks amid a spate of people who have continued to flout social distancing laws.
The Blair Logie car park that serves Dumyat along the A91 has been closed, as well as Finnich Glen which serves Devil’s Pulpit.
Dumyat sits on the edge of Stirling University’s campus and is a popular location for students and members of the public.
The new closures are a result of groups of people who have continued to travel to beauty spots and ignore social distancing laws put in place amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The council, working with Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), have also closed other car parks at the end of last month for similar reasons.
Simon Hodgson, FLS Chief Executive, said:
“We have closed our car parks, mountain bike trails and all visitor facilities in line with government requirements for us all to avoid unnecessary travel to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“We appreciate that fresh air and being outdoors benefits physical and mental health and well-being and local forest trails are open for local visitors who can get to one of our forests by walking, by bicycle or by wheelchair – as long as physical distance guidelines are followed.
“I would urge everyone to follow the current government and NHS health advice.”
Cllr Jim Thomson, convener for Environment and Housing, explained:
“These popular beauty spots across Stirling have seen an increase in visitors over the week because of the warm weather.
“That’s set to continue on Saturday and, while I know that makes people want to get out and about more, the message from the government is still clear – don’t travel unless it’s essential.
“I completely appreciate the frustration of having to stay local, and the benefits of getting some fresh country air are obviously understood, but we have to continue to look out for each other and avoid taking the car out for a drive and a walk at some of these cherished locations.”
Stirling Council has taken additional measures by placing cones and taping at a section of Sheriffmuir Road.
Lack of social distancing and people not abiding with travel restrictions has been an issue in Stirling since lockdown began.
Trossachs councillor Evelyn Tweed has been vocal about the restrictions after visitors flocked to Callander last month and Alyn Smith MP publicly denounced a Daily Mail article highlighting rural areas to self-isolate in.
Stirling councillors had to urge visitors to stay away from rural beauty spots over the Easter weekend.
Earlier this week the Scottish Government had to reinforce travel restrictions, and highlighted the ability of police officers to hand down fines and dispersal orders.
Chief Inspector Gill Marshall, Police Scotland Local Area Commander for Stirling, said: “We remain in a period of physical distancing in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, protect our NHS and save lives.
“The restrictions in place are for everyone’s safety and it is irresponsible to ignore them.
“With that in mind, we want the public to adhere to the current guidance and not to visit any beauty spot or popular gathering areas.
“We understand and appreciate the sacrifices everyone is making at this time and while leaving the house for essential shopping and medicine is permitted, along with daily exercise, these activities should be done within your local area. Where possible, driving should be kept to a minimum.”
Featured Image: WalkHighlands