Summer is here, and it’s a great time to visit Clyde Muirshiel and experience all it has to offer. We’ve seen many visitors to the park enjoying barbecues, camping, and swimming at Castle Semple and Muirshiel Country Park this last month, which is great, but we want to remind everyone of the importance of enjoying the park in a safe and responsible way!
Last weekend it was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee holiday weekend, and it was great to see so many of you out enjoying the sunshine! Mostly everyone was great, and we want to thank you all for that, however, there were a few minor instances regarding fire and water safety that we feel it’s important to remind everyone of.
With this warmer weather comes an increased risk of wildfires occurring throughout Scotland’s uplands and moorlands. If heading out to the hills this summer we ask that visitors to the park use portable gas barbecues and refrain from lighting open fires on bare ground, especially on hot days. Always ensure fires are supervised. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website has some useful information about how you can remain fire-safe when out and about this summer.
The images below are of an unsupervised fire we found last weekend, which was especially concerning since it was located on peaty moorland/farmland up at Muirshiel Country Park. Embers from fires can burrow into peat and despite the fire looking like it’s out, the embers could still be smouldering below the ground level. This can cause a fire to ignite fire days later, which can cause serious ecological and economic damage. Just last year a fire caused by a dropped cigarette at Ben Lomond did exactly that. Fortunately we spotted this one early and the people responsible reacted quickly to extinguish the fire.
We all know how great it is to cool off at a loch or burn when it’s as hotas it has been these last few days, so if you are thinking of going swimming make sure you do it in a safe and responsible way. Be advised, the water can be very cold, even on a warm day! As Castle Semple Loch is also a busy water sports centre we recommend using a tow float that will increase your visibility. If swimming during the summer months at Castle Semple Loch there will be blue-green algae present and it is advised that you should wash your hands before eating or drinking and shower afterwards. Blue green algae can cause upset stomachs, skin, eye or throat irritation as well as allergic reactions.
For more advice on visiting the park in a safe and responsible way refer to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which is available online at https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/
For more information about the summer events programme we have coming up at Clyde Muirshiel, visit our events page.