Police and council chiefs have been forced to close off popular beauty spots after experiencing an onslaught of visitors as lockdown restrictions were eased for the first time.

Communities across rural Stirling were inundated with tourists and day-trippers last weekend after Phase 1 of lockdown restrictions were put into place on May 29.

Currently, the easing of lockdown restrictions allows Scots to travel for exercise, however, the government are advising that this is kept to a five-mile distance.

But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has threatened to put curbs on socialising and travel into law after mass breaches of the revised guidance on the first weekend of the lockdown easing.

Multiple complaints were reported to Stirling Council and Police Scotland surrounding issues with illegal parking, traffic congestion, dangerous driving and littering at various rural hot spots.

READ MORE: Scottish travel surged as lockdown eased

Now, 21-day temporary road closures have been put in place near to the county's most popular areas, including Bracklinn Falls and Balmaha.

Local-only access will be allowed at Drymen on the B837 and Bracklinn Road, Callander near Bracklinn Falls, with signs in place.

Traffic Scotland has also implemented temporary speed restrictions on the A84/A85 Stirling to Crianlarich Trunk Road at the Cabin, Loch Lubnaig.


Cllr Danny Gibson, vice convener of Stirling Council said: “Last week we saw people abandoning their cars, leaving rubbish behind, toileting in residents’ gardens and generally showing a complete disregard for public health and national guidance.

“Aside from that, the congregation of large numbers of people ignoring social distancing like we saw and was reported to us in Balmaha last weekend creates a huge risk of spreading Coronavirus.

“We have to remember that lockdown is not over, and every action we take could still have an impact on other people.

Chief Inspector Mark Paterson from Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit said: "The regulations remain that people should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example for basic necessities, for exercise or recreation, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done from home.

"The Chief Constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to protect the NHS and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.

READ MORE: Sturgeon threatens new lockdown laws after mass rule-breaking

“Following the Scottish Government's guidance about avoiding travelling long distances will stop our parks, beaches, lochs and hills from becoming over-crowded and help ensure appropriate physical distancing is maintained, reducing the spread of Coronavirus.

“With these road closures and traffic restrictions in place, our officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance. We will use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation.

"We recognise that people have made significant sacrifices until now and while the temptation may be to head straight for one of our beauty spots, we would ask people to use their judgement and avoid going to places which are normally busy during good weather.”