VICTORIA Weldon’s excellent article has covered the issue of planning being granted for a 1.3km long path within the RSPB Reserve outside Gartocharn ("Anger at go-ahead for walkway in Loch Lomond nature reserve", The Herald, May 26).

There seems to be only one justification for this development, (that will require nearly 100 lorry loads of rock and stone to be driven in), and that is the joining together of two existing paths.

The Aber Path which runs down to Loch Lomond from the village of Gartocharn, was constructed more than 20 years ago.

The second path was developed by the RSPB only three years ago. The access to it is from the A811, on a new tarmac road, running over open farmland. This was installed by the RSPB. One has to ask why is another one needed? I go walking in the area often and remember it well from my childhood when we lived nearby, and what we have at present serves the area very well.

This is a form of creeping development on one of Scotland’s most highly designated reserves, which should be of great concern to all who care about Loch Lomond. These international designations are there to help to protect such special areas, not to let them be developed to assist tourism.

We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful country, the national park must not allow tourism to win over the environment.

Ann McIntosh, Dunning.

LOCH Lomond Nature Reserve is next to my home. I have been connected with this unique marsh and bogland for more than 60 years.

This is not just "another" nature reserve. This reserve was designated 70 years ago. It is the crossing point for migratory geese that come from the north down Loch Lomond and from the east across the Carse of Stirling, to then fly off down the Clyde.

It is intensely rich in flora and fauna; more than 350 previously unrecorded species were found last year by an RSPB volunteer.

The reserve is managed by the RSPB and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Under the management of Scottish Natural Heritage, paths were maintained, but paths are now neglected under the management of the RSPB. The pursuit of tourism development by the current management is incompatable with an internationally designated site. The urbanisation of such fragile natural habitat, by a path proposal with a "construction corridor" of 10 metres wide, flanked by interpretation boards, recycling bins and shelters is environmental madness. Future plans for glamping, car parks, toilets and a visitor centre do not bare thinking about.

Anita Anderson, Gartocharn.