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COLONSAY COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Camping sub-group report

March 2021

Terms of reference

In a public meeting held by the Colonsay Community Council (CCC) on 13 October 2020, following a question raised by a member of the public, there was a discussion regarding wild camping on Colonsay. It was agreed that a sub-group would be formed to formulate a survey to gauge the feelings of the community. The results of this survey would be used to inform the CCC and thus enable it to develop an island policy regarding camping on Colonsay and Oransay.

Sub-group members:

Alex Howard (CCC)(coordinator)

David Hobhouse (CCC)

Richard Buttrick (CCC) (zoom host)

Jan Brooks

Richard Irvine (representing CTMG)

Dannie Onn (representing CCDC)

 

Survey

The sub-group, having had several meetings (via zoom), decided that there were effectively three camping categories; Wild camping, Campsite camping, and motor “homes” or campervans.

The questions that we formulated and that we felt sufficiently explored each category, were put into a suitable on-line survey format. Hard copies of the questionnaires were also made available if needed.

The survey was posted out to the community at the end of January 2021 using the CCC email list.

 

General Points

There was a good response to survey with 50 replies received.

•  A copy of the survey questions and the “scores” for each question is attached at Annex A [below]

•  There were also many written comments which supplemented various respondents' answers. These are included at Annex B [below].

 

Summary

Below is a summary of what we felt were the key points highlighted by the survey, separated into each of the three categories mentioned above:

Wild Camping

•  An overwhelming majority of respondents (82%) felt that responsible wild camping was seen positively

•  70% of respondents felt that irresponsible wild camping is seen as a problem. From the written comments it was felt that this was likely to become an increasing problem

•  There was divided opinion about the provision of toilets & water stations, with a small majority of 56% saying that they should NOT be provided

•  Similarly, 58% of respondents felt that special parking for wild campers was NOT necessary

•  50% of respondents felt that it was NOT necessary to patrol the activities of wild campers (42% were in favour and 8% were “don't knows”)

•  There was widescale support for CCC to actively reinforce the responsibilities of wild campers (88%).

Campsites

•  There was general support (68%) for a permanent formal campsite on Colonsay

Campervans

•  There was general support to maintain the present community policy which is to actively discourage campervans (80%) with 82% also endorsing a restriction in the size of campervans

•  The majority of respondents were against a serviced (58%) or un-serviced (70%) site for campervans

Acknowledgments

Our thanks to all those that participated in the survey and in particular to the members of the sub-group who gave their time freely to help make this important part of Colonsay life operate more smoothly, fairly and reasonably. Also, thanks to Helen Mann for uploading the questionnaire to the internet and helping gather and disseminate the results.

 

Conclusions and recommendations

Wild Camping

It was clear that the great majority of respondents felt that responsible wild campers are welcome on Colonsay & Oransay. It enables a diversity of tourists to visit and appreciate our islands.

It was also accepted that there was a less satisfactory element of campers who lack the necessary skills and local knowledge and may be unaware of the rules and regulations.

It is clear that the consensus of feeling from the respondents (who represent a good cross section of views from the community) that the CCC should publish some sort of local guidelines, informing wild campers how they should conduct themselves. It is also clear that we are not being asked to introduce anything that is not already covered by Government legislation and published guidelines.

Our recommendation to the CCC is that the CCC instruct this or another group to work towards producing a guide to wild camping which is pertinent to Colonsay & Oransay and incorporates reference to the existing laws and guidelines

Campsite

Although there is overall support for a permanent formal campsite it was not as overwhelming as the outcome in the other two categories. It is also worth noting that the Colonsay Community Development Company (CCDC) have included the idea of a campsite in their current business plan.

Our recommendation to the CCC is that no further action be taken by the CCC with regard to establishing a formal campsite at this time. However, should proposals for such – or supporting facilities such as WCs, water supply points or parking - come forward in the future then further community consultation should be undertaken.

Campervans

As with wild camping, there was an emphatic majority outcome from the survey. Unlike wild camping however, it showed that campervans were not seen as a good thing for Colonsay & Oransay.

Our recommendation to the CCC is to at least maintain the present situation which requires the drivers of campervans to make specific arrangements for parking on the island before they start their journey to Colonsay and before being able to board a ferry to the island

CCC should also monitor and appraise the numbers and size of vans visiting Colonsay. Possibly with the help of Calmac staff & data. Campervans are being discussed in similar environments to ours elsewhere on the west coast and we should remain aware of any upcoming national and local legislation

DAH

March 2021

Annex A

Wild Camping Questions

Yes

No

Don't know

Do you consider that responsible wild camping is a problem on Colonsay or Oransay?

6

41

3

Do you consider that irresponsible wild camping is a problem on Colonsay or Oransay?

35

8

7

Should there be public toilets and water stations available for wild campers?

21

28

1

Should a central parking provision be provided on the island for wild campers so that they can leave their cars before camping in the wild?

17

29

4

Do you think the CCC should reinforce the responsibilities of wild campers?

44

5

1

Do you think the CCC should patrol the activities of wild campers?

21

25

4

Do you think the CCC should have a policy on wild camping and promote this through websites and other media associated with Colonsay & Oransay?

41

9

0

 

 

Campsite Question

Do you consider that provision of a formal campsite on Colonsay & Oransay would be desirable for those campers that wish to stay longer or have the use of more facilities?

34

12

4

Campervan Questions

Do you consider that campervans should continue to be discouraged on Colonsay & Oransay?

 

40

7

3

Should a vehicle size limit be imposed or other restrictions applied?

41

7

2

Should a serviced parking area be provided on Colonsay & Oransay for campervans?

 

16

29

5

Should an unserviced parking area be provided on Colonsay & Oransay for campervans?

 

7

35

8

 

Annexe B(i)

Wild Camping. Do you have any other comments?

 

These comments have been taken from the survey results. The author of this report has attempted to categorise them as “For “or “Against” however there are a number of comments which are hard to categorise and so have been allocated to “Unattributable” and listed separately. It is accepted that some may wish to categorise these comments differently.

For: •  This survey is confused. Responsible wild campers do not need supervision, will not have motor cars, do not need toilets. Water points should be provided for everyone. Irresponsible campers are NOT wild campers, they are vagrants, and they should not be tolerated. The confusion in this survey will have caused difficulty to those local residents who are unaware of the Scottish legislation permitting wild camping; some people may now confuse vagrants with campers. Wild campers make a contribution to the island, if only as ambassadors, but many will, at a different time, use the hotel or other accommodation. The vagrants are unlikely to leave anything but their waste.

•  The apparent issue with wild camping is where irresponsible campers are not following the clear outdoor access code. Most of Colonsay and Oransay is actively managed farmland which limits the space for wild camping in the true sense, and problems occur where campers elect to set up on farmland or in close proximity to residential homes under the misunderstanding that this is "wild". Agree that wild camping should be monitored, but not publicised, any attention given to this will increase camping, most of which will be irresponsible. Any increase in "wild camping" increases the case for managed camping.

•  Wild camping, when done following the code, is a great way of people having affordable access to beautiful places, like Colonsay, and is a life enhancing activity that builds, or reinforces, a love of nature and the countryside in a responsible manner.

•  The Scottish Government's Land Reform Act legislation, which includes the content within the Outdoor Access Code, refers to wild camping in a way that is detailed, clear and widely available. CCC does not need to have additional policy, patrol or reinforce, and indeed I feel that this would be grossly inappropriate. If CCC were to mention wild camping through websites and other media, it would only be appropriate only to state Scottish legislation & guidelines. The Land Reform Act asks land managers to behave in a way that is welcoming; anything less than this is unacceptable. If public toilets, water or parking were to be made available on the island, these would be for the benefit and use of all and could be a positive addition to the island for residents and visitors alike. As Kevin Byrne boldly stated a few months ago, positive camping experiences on Colonsay could pave the way for new families and a thriving community on the island. Examples from other islands show that people who get to know a place through happy camping holidays can go on to find a way to relocate and make a living on an island.

•  I am aware that there are some issues with some wild campers, but I am very much against an attempt to ban wild campers or making them feel unwelcome. Colonsay is such a difficult place to get to with exceedingly limited options for people on a budget, that for those people that make the effort to come here to camp and do not leave a mess should be welcomed. I don't see why there should be a policy that is any different from the rules that already exist, and they should be promoted through websites and social media. If wild camping is done properly, they shouldn't need toilets and water, this is possibly more of an issue with families that are on the beaches all day. The trouble with having public toilets at the beaches is that they could become worse than the original problem itself unless properly cleaned and maintained.

•  Real wild campers give me no cause for concern. They are responsible and are hardly even noticed usually, leaving no trace. The rise of people thinking that they are wild camping whilst using a car, camping out for nights at the same spot, in full view of the road is concerning. The pandemic has only exacerbated this, and I think this summer will be no different.

•  "Wild camping is just that" not parking a car on the golf course and putting a tent next to it

•  Most true "wild campers" are seldom noticed cause few problems and come on foot, bicycle or canoe. They do not seek facilities. Those that come with cars or want to stay longer want facilities a formal camp site would be welcome.

•  As an island we cannot stop wild camping, so it needs to be carefully managed. A Ranger would be a good idea so that the campers can be monitored and helped to camp sensibly. This could provide employment for a local person during the season.

•  It is important to differentiate between wild camping (encouraged) and "roadside" camping (discouraged). Why would a wild camper bring a car across on the ferry, therefore no need to provide parking and there is no legal right for cars to access any land without landowner permission. If toilet facilities are provided the camping is no longer wild camping as defined in the outdoor access code. The pressure sites on Colonsay are Kiloran and Machrins machair. In my experience, both sites have suffered from litter and campfire remains. The code states that wild camping is not "camping in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals". Camping on Kiloran machair can be discouraged and listed as not suitable for camping as part of any published outdoor access map.

•  The marketing group could include a section on guidance for campers in their booklet eg map with suggested areas (or areas to avoid) parking, facilities etc You cannot just expect people to know local factors and it would facilitate wild campers being much more discrete

•  Wild camping is important, open to all and a huge part of the lives of many low-income families in Scotland. It's incredibly expensive to stay on the island in the self-catering/hotel available and the suggestion that camping is something to be discouraged is grossly elitist and exclusive. Policy is the way forward - make it clear and unanimous across all island websites how we expect campers to behave. Also, we should not punish responsible campers for the actions of a few - so I certainly do not want to see reactive, punitive decisions from the CCC or individuals every time the 1 in 50 campers leaves a scorch mark on the grass, or a bit of rubbish. We also need to remember that the law is the law, Scotland's land is free for all and that is where any decisions on the issue should start.

•  Wild camping is very important to many people and something that lifts the soul. The vast majority of wild camping do so leaving no trace behind. The rights of walkers and wild campers are set out in the outdoor access code, and it is the responsibility of landowners to be welcoming and allow ease movement through the landscape. Some wild campers may be less experienced and make some mistakes, but it is only through doing that they gain experience. To my mind wild camping is to be encouraged with some friendly guidelines of how not to cause any upset.

•  Wild camping is legitimate, legal, appropriate and sustainable. Dirty camping is none of those. The problem is being able to distinguish between the wild camper and the dirty camper when they arrive on the ferry. The wild camper leaves only footprints: the dirty camper leaves all sorts of problems. The Scottish North Coast 500 and the National Parks have been inundated with dirty campers and those problems in the past year. Litter and rubbish, human faeces, abandoned barbecues, fire holes in good turf and branches pulled from living trees. It is timely for the CCC to consider how to avoid these problems in the future. The island websites need to have explicit information and guidance. What is; and what is not allowed. Wild campers are likely to travel by foot, bike or canoe and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code explains where they have a legal right to camp; camping next to your car is not wild camping and you do not have a legal right to do so. The Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park needed Camping Management Byelaws in 2017 to prevent even true wild camping on the shores of the lochs. The CCC are unlikely to be able to get similar byelaws; education is the solution.

•  I think it would be a good idea for CCC to include advice for wild campers in their marketing materials, though I'm not sure the irresponsible campers would adhere to it. Given that people could be camping the length and breadth of Colonsay and Oransay, I'm not sure about the need for additional toilet facilities. At the minute people can use the toilets at the pier. A source of fresh water would be a good idea.

•  Genuine wild camping is OK. Any other camping should be limited to specified sites, with controlled numbers, modest facilities and adequate parking. A business opportunity?

Against: •  Because it's a small island, wild camping could be very intrusive on favourite walks, viewpoints, etc.

•  Although to be discouraged, Wild Camping is not yet significantly common to be much of a problem. If various “facilities" are introduced they will, in time, merely encourage more people to come - and without bringing much economic benefit to the Island.

•  The siting of Toilets/Washing facilities would have to be everywhere on the island for them to be conveniently placed for use. Human excrement will be widespread. Our firefighting provision is not adequate to provide a safe environment for the island's inhabitants. These people want a cheap holiday and will detract from the income to the island. You would be reliant on the goodwill of the Wild Campers to follow the rules, experience during the current Pandemic has clearly demonstrated the unwillingness of the population to follow any rules laid down for public behaviour. We have attempted to make Colonsay a beautiful island and market it as such, wild camping would trash this image. The problem is not Colonsay, the problem is a national government decision that is impossible to police and risks the lives of us all. We do not want ANY campers on Colonsay.

Unattributable: •  I have seen responsible wild campers come to Colonsay over the years on the most part they are very discreet and only stay for a few days. The impact on other parts of Scotland have not been as positive and I fear this could be the case for Colonsay.

•  A formal campsite could provide toilet facilities/water stations/central parking to those wishing to wild camp.

•  Can't really stop anyone from proper wild camping. Who is going to police it? How will they get back up to enforce? Use national rules for wild camping. Again, who would enforce this? Colonsay policy would have to advertise NO cars would be allowed beyond certain point or next to tents. Again, who is going to enforce? Would people need to supply an address to obtain a car ticket for ferry? E.g., booking confirmation of property - no booking no car ticket?

•  As with so many other things, it will be the actions of a few irresponsible wild campers who spoil it for people who stick to the spirit of the legislation and wild camp responsibly. It is a very difficult one to "police".

•  Responsible wild camping is the law also any tom dick or harry can travel on public roads. Will the CCC get official uniforms if they patrol? who will pay for them?

•  How would the CCC patrol the activities of wild campers? Possibly a poster at the Ferry Terminal and an Advert in the free publications handed to visitors. Water and toilets are available at the Ferry Terminal.

•  Many wild campers travel without a car. Certainly, on an island this size, a car park for wild campers seems unnecessary. In addition, the cost of ferry travel alone might put off those who consider whether or not to bring a vehicle. By the very nature of wild camping, most campers expect to be self-sufficient, and most are aware of their responsibilities towards the environment. It would be beneficial all round if the CCC were to have a policy and promote it. Prospective wild campers would know what to expect and what is expected of them. Monitor rather than 'patrol'? If you have a policy and promote it, you will benefit from gauging the result. Do more wild campers come? Do they act more responsibly?

•  I think it needs to be tightly regulated and numbers regulated. Possibly using a license scheme such as in Loch Lomond and Trossachs.

•  Wild camping is within the law. It should not be encouraged by mention in the website, as that might lead to more people coming.

•  Re: parking. Parking on the island tends to be informal for everyone, except at the pier and the hall. So long as people do not park in passing places, or block access, it need not be a problem. Providing a designated parking space for wild campers would suggest we were actively encouraging wild camping, rather than tolerating it.

•  I think a car park sounds unattractive but if wild campers were able to leave cars in a field, for example, or on an organised camp site that might seem more in keeping with the island.

 

Annex B(ii)

Campsite at managed sites - comments?

 

These comments have been taken from the survey results. The author of this report has attempted to categorise them as “For “or “Against” however there are a number of comments which are hard to categorise and so have been allocated to “Undecided” and listed separately. It is accepted that some may wish to categorise these comments differently.

For: •  Sensitively sited this would be a useful addition to the visitor provision on the island.

•  The implications are considerable. Before such a site is established, the promoters should be encouraged to visit a range of existing facilities elsewhere, so as to become fully aware of everything that is involved. A proper campsite could be highly desirable and a great asset but needs very careful planning.

•  An aid to managing increasing interest for folk wishing to camp.

•  Wild camping is not for everyone and a well-managed designated campsite would be a great addition to the island's hospitality offering.

•  Carefully managed, a designated campsite on Colonsay with the appropriate facilities could be beneficial to the island and those wishing to visit.

•  If it was done in conjunction with CCDC. Why can't Cal Mac's facilities be used as they were before? until a site is available

•  A positive idea. A welcoming, family-friendly campsite. As the pandemic has increased the popularity of getting into the outdoors, it would be very popular.

•  A good idea as many campers like the use of a toilet block etc and are happy to pay for it. It could also offer employment/business during the season

•  A small well managed site including parking would be a great benefit It would likely reduce wild camping and offer an alternative to those visitors who maybe want to spend just a few nights on the island

•  This should be a community led project so that the whole community benefits from the income. As a campsite is part of CCDC's current development plan it would be appropriate that the CCC support CCDC in providing camping facilities. As with wild camping, we should be proactively encouraging and supporting lower-income visitors from visiting and enjoying our island.

•  A managed campsite would be an asset for the island. There are lots of examples on the west coast of Scotland from small and informal to large and organised. Iona campsite; Fidden campsite on Mull, Glen Brittle campsite on Skye; Ardnamurchan campsite on …...

•  I think a formal campsite would give people the opportunity to stay in less expensive accommodation - I see this as a positive thing.

•  Yes, a small campsite that is well run would do well on Colonsay.

•  Yes, this would also sort the toilet issue as that would be a requirement for an official campsite.

•  A good well provisioned campsite would bring income for crofter etc.

Against: •  Please don't spoil Colonsay with a camp site. Colonsay doesn't have to be like somewhere else. Colonsay is unique and should continue to be so. No regulated camp sites and no camper vans.

•  We do NOT want any campers on Colonsay. Any organised site would only lead to those that wish to Wild Camp.

•  Managed facilities will gradually bring more people to the Island, with little economic benefit. You can witness this effect in countryside parks and National Parks. People pay unusually large rents to visit Colonsay, and they come because the Island is substantially "wild". Managed facilities will, over time, bring more people, so degrading the attraction for paying visitors.

•  There could be one small site in a sensitively chosen place. Stays would have to be booked in advance and this made very clear on the website. I am not really in favour of this though, as it might encourage the wrong sort i.e., folk who do not appreciate the island's beauty. It would not bring any economic benefit either.

Undecided: •  Difficult- who is going to pay someone to keep site tidy /clean? Where is money coming from to set up a proper site? Whose property will it be next to? Would they have a say?

•  It could be a real eyesore unless a site out of view exists. If that exists, it might meet a need. But ultra-careful placement would be essential - the last thing anyone wants to see is a campsite intruding on the special scenery. Difficult to think of such a place, unless hidden in the woods.

•  This is a project that is being pursued by the CCDC.

•  A stand-alone managed campsite is not financially viable in my opinion

•  I answered don't know as I am not sure whether it is desirable or not. Wild camping and residential camping communities are two different consumer groups seeking different and, possibly, opposing experiences of the island. A campsite will not reduce significantly the amount of wild camping, but will encourage additional and new visitors who will expect high quality facilities

•  Maybe not on Oransay - as a reserve, it's not appropriate. Visitors with vehicles should be discouraged from taking them to Oransay

•  I suppose this question very much depends on where it is and how/who its managed by. I am familiar with the small campsite on Iona situated at the farm Cnoc Oran. I haven't used it, but I have walked past many times. It is well away from the village and the abbey, requiring a good walk from the ferry. Visitor cars are not allowed on Iona and are not needed, given the size of the island. Admittedly it is smaller than Colonsay, but I could see campers being happy to stay on a small low-key site with minimal facilities at a distance from Scalasaig, if necessary.

Annex B(iii)

Campervans - other comments?

 

These comments have been taken from the survey results. The author of this report has attempted to categorise them as “For “or “Against” however there are a number of comments which are hard to categorise and so have been allocated to “Undecided” and listed separately. It is accepted that some may wish to categorise these comments differently.

For: •  I would encourage campervans in limited numbers on Colonsay. My experience is campervan owners are very friendly and act responsibly. It might give some diversity to the type of visitor we get to the island. I do think there would need to be a limit on size of vehicle due to the roads. And also, a limit on numbers at any given time. I think there should be a serviced site on the island in the right location.

•  Colonsay's no camper van policy sends out a bad message to the wider world and properly managed access for vehicles up to an appropriate size would help a) encourage more visitors and b) demonstrate the island welcomes all.

•  Welcome them with a proper site. After the pandemic we will need all we can get.

•  Anything that creates opportunities for positive experiences on Colonsay paves the way for people to go on to seek opportunities to live and work here. The island would benefit from a larger pool of people to work as mechanics, electricians, carers, builders, plumbers, volunteers, cleaners, administrators and in the various hospitality roles. Anything that allows a wider range of people to discover and enjoy Colonsay would be positive, and it would make recruiting within the sectors of education and healthcare less of a challenge. While I believe that permitting campervans would be positive, it would only be so if a size limit was implemented, and a designated place created for them. Small campervans on small roads are fine, but large RVs not viable.

•  Campervans should certainly be restricted in size as the roads cannot handle the larger vehicles that come. They should probably be restricted on numbers to prevent "swamping" the island which possibly means restricting them to booking into serviced areas unless they are staying with a resident. Self-catering cottage owners should also check whether their customers are bringing campervans with them.

•  IF campervans were to be allowed, then a size restriction would be needed and an overnight parking area would be essential, with or without facilities. Places would therefore be restricted, so van owners would need to book in advance and be able to show proof of a booking before purchasing a ticket on Calmac, as now. However, a major practical consideration in a small campervan is the need to empty the toilet 'capsule' on average every 3 or 4 days. Where could this be done on Colonsay? That's why I don't know if a serviced or unserviced parking area should be provided. Maybe a camping area's facilities could double up as a 'toilet disposal point' for the few campervans that would need it, eliminating the need for services at the designated parking area. Responding to the survey as a whole, I would say that I am in favour of promoting responsible wild camping. I am also in favour of a low-key camping area, with basic facilities e.g., access to drinking water, a toilet and washing area, but not necessarily a shower. As I have enjoyed camping trips in my own campervan, I would not like to prevent others from doing the same, but I can see that for Colonsay, with its basic infrastructure, this option needs careful planning and monitoring. However, it could be done, albeit on a small scale. Anything that brings young people, new people, to the island is a good thing for the future. They may get a taste for island life and so return and perhaps return for good, or if not to Colonsay itself, then to another small island where an increase in the population is needed for future sustainability.

•  Once again, having a clear policy is key. We should aim to provide information about the island's capacity, road condition, facilities (or lack thereof) etc. Explicitly discouraging camper vans is inappropriate and is truly awful for the island's reputation - I never hear the end of it from my colleagues in other parts of the country!

•  Colonsay roads are not suitable for campervans over 6m in vehicle length. The Scottish North Coast 500 has much better roads but passing places full of vehicles, litter bins overflowing, and chemical toilets emptied at the side of the road are recent problems. However, a small number of campervan pitches on the island would be appropriate. The Calmac website needs to make it clear that ferry bookings will only be accepted if a campsite pitch has been reserved. As now, it should not be possible to book a campervan online for the Colonsay ferry. Mull Community Council and Visit Mull and Iona have produced a Guide for Campervans leaflet; a similar leaflet for Colonsay might be possible. Campervans need a hard standing, water and a disposal point for the toilet. There is no need to provide electric hook-up. Of course, a campsite with provision for tents is the ideal place to provide these facilities.

Against: •  It's become a huge problem on other islands I've seen this myself tipping of sewage onto verges and people coming and parking up for weeks. Not everyone is irresponsible but there are more and more folks hiring campervans for holidays. Spoke with residents on other islands and they felt they didn't contribute anything to the islands as most parts they are very self-contained

•  Our sorry roads are not suitable for camper vans. Will the council do up the roads? I very much doubt it! Please do not encourage this.

•  Too big for our roads - what do they contribute to local economy?

•  Almost worse than tents because they are obviously going to be parked up next to the road and highly visible. It's bad enough with cars parking down by the beach at Machrins, for example. Campervans would be more intrusive.

•  … and caravans. Not a fan, only allow if occupants have booked accommodation. Look at Skye, the north coast, Orkney, problems will only get worse for little return for Colonsay.

•  No to campervans - full stop.

•  Camper vans should not be encouraged and be actively discouraged. Driving around Colonsay in the summer months is becoming increasingly unpleasant due to traffic levels. The state of the roads are a disaster and a disgrace. Why bring more traffic? CCC should spend more energy on getting present road problems sorted out!!

•  The current policy to discourage has worked in that Colonsay residents have not suffered from campervans (or better described “motorhomes”) monopolising ferry capacity in the summer months unlike other island communities. Colonsay roads and parking does not have the capacity for the daily movement of campervans as owners "sightsee" around the island or visit beaches. We need to consider which groups of visitors add most value while being aligned with a Colonsay experience of green tourism. For example, will our core market of families who rent for a week or two and cycle and walk be encouraged or discouraged by more and significantly larger vehicles on our roads?

•  We DO NOT wish to have Campervans on Colonsay. Irrespective of arrangements for parking, the roads are totally unsuited to vehicles like this driving around the island. The narrow roads are part of the beauty and character of an unspoilt island like Colonsay. If people want all the trappings of modern life, then they can easily get them anywhere else in the country. Unlike on the mainland if a Campervan driver arrives in Colonsay, and then realises that the island facilities are not suitable or as they desire, they have to stay until the next ferry permits them to leave. When they arrive on Colonsay it is already too late. It is already clear that the drivers of Campervans are not capable of manoeuvring their vehicles on our narrow and winding roads; this is a serious problem for our own elderly drivers who attempt to maintain their independence and mobility, as is their right, on their home island. If any ground is given over any of these points (Wild Camping, Campsites and Campervans) the genie will already be out of the bottle, there will be NO way back.

•  I doubt campervans and caravans can legally be stopped from boarding the ferry. However, discouragement should continue. Discovery of "facilities" will gradually bring an influx of large vehicles, and no economic benefit. Indeed, the Island will tend to become less attractive to paying renters - which will drive down existing high rental prices. (Note: I am not in the business of renting myself!)

•  Campervans are entirely unsuited to Colonsay. The roads are much too narrow and there are no facilities. If individuals wish to have them park on their land and use their facilities, then that could be allowed. Again, coming to Colonsay is I'm afraid quite legal, as the road is public.

•  Given that Colonsay has a single-track road system and the roads are in an appalling state I think the fewer Campervans on the island the better. Parking places at Kiloran for example are very limited in the summer and big campervans only exacerbate the situation. Again, there aren't any facilities, water/ chemical toilet etc.

 

Undecided: •  I think it would be good if campervans could stay at a campsite rather than a parking spot. I have answered ‘I don't know' to questions that I would need more information about before answering. I think there could be a restriction on the number of camper vans on the island, and a size restriction, too. I find it difficult to imagine a serviced car park. I might have a more useful answer if there were specific sites in mind.

•  Camper vans could park up at a campsite if there was provision for them. The roads are not really suitable for the larger vans, but large vehicles come here for other purposes anyway so not a valid argument.

•  A serviced parking area could be provided at a formal campsite, however due to road size and quality, vehicle size limit may be sensible. Interesting time to conduct this questionnaire. With COVID central to residents' views on tourism in general I fear the results may be skewed somewhat.

•  I have a comment about the survey. As a homeowner (but not a permanent resident) there was no way to adequately describe my position. It is disappointing that the Committee has taken the approach not to provide a category that represents a significant number of people who own homes on the island.

•  It's very hard to comment when no details, design layout or locations are available to consider. The size, location, screening, hard and soft landscaping, lighting etc will make all the difference. It's very hard to imagine what the size and visual impact of the vehicles will be depending on the number. A planning application would need to be made showing the number of vehicles and what amenities will be provided. The Planners may require screening, or bunding and landscaping to mitigate the impact. The same goes for camp sites etc. A potential issue could be privacy and external lighting. The success failure would be dependent on the details.

•  Campervan use has been rising and is likely to continue to do so especially now in view of covid. The island is not ready to receive them, and they are often a source of resentment While I would support discouraging them just now, they are not going to stop, so until a formal site and channelling bookings size numbers etc is created the problem will continue. It would seem better to create a managed site than allow the issue to go unchecked. Banning them outright creates difficulties with enforcement. A small campervan causes me less issue than the high number of cars coming to the island often several at a time for an individual self-catering property

•  Until formal, managed sites are available campervans should continue to be discouraged unless they belong to residents or second homeowners or belong to visitors who are staying with residents or at a rented property and can be parked at that property throughout their stay. If managed, serviced sites are provided in future, the number and size of campervans should be strictly controlled and CCC should work with ABC to introduce bylaws to that effect. Unmanaged / unserviced sites are not desirable, as they may be exploited or abused.

 

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