Better Places Fund 4 - outcomes and eligibility

What kind of activity was funded?

Our Better Places Fund Round 4 supported additional or new seasonal ranger posts and visitor operations staff dealing with visitor management in “hot spot” locations in Scotland during the 2023 season, over and above any already budgeted for or in place.   

The fund supported:

  1. Seasonal Rangers - visitor management: Funding for new and additional seasonal rangers with a visitor management remit leading on visitor engagement, promotion of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, dealing with issues, patrolling, monitoring impacts, liaison with communities, volunteers, landowners, agencies, police etc.
  2. Visitor operations staff: Funding for new and additional seasonal staff with a visitor management remit.  Providing practical management of visitors in the outdoors including tackling issues such as litter, parking, camping, campervan pressures etc. and including engagement with the public.

Priority was given to activity that addresses visitor management issues in “hot spot” areas including:

  • North and West Highland and islands (including NC 500)
  • Highland Perthshire
  • Cairngorms National Park area
  • Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park area
  • East Lothian and the Pentland Hills

Essential criterion:

Visitor management focused staff posts are in place and operational at visitor “hot spot” locations, for the peak summer months in 2023.

Primary outcome:

Improved visitor experience, improved visitor behaviours and reduced impact on communities, land managers and the natural and cultural heritage.  

Supporting outcomes:

  • Communities and interested parties see, or are involved in, positive action to address issues and visitor impacts leading to improvements to local places and visitor experiences.
  • Raise public awareness and encourage action to address the impacts that visitors can have on the environment, including climate-related, other visitors' enjoyment, and resident communities.
  • Communities, including landowners, land managers, businesses and visitors, are motivated or empowered to help deliver plans and action in a collaborative way.
  • Places under pressure and suffering negative impacts from increased visitation are managed in a sustainable way that supports low impact and responsible enjoyment.
  • Under-represented and less confident visitors are particularly welcomed and positively supported by the seasonal staff posts.
  • Activity aligns with strategic plans for the area or location and helps deliver priority actions.
  • Activity that supports the agreed national communications messages for visitor management, including the Scottish Outdoor Access Code key messages.
  • Data and evidence that informs NatureScot and its strategic partner agencies, including Scottish Government, about visitor management activity and actions applied in 2023.
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