RURAL Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing has branded a Scots camping business's decision to keep all its campsites closed for the rest of the year as "totally unacceptable".

Scottish ministers own Scotland’s national forests and land, with Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) managing it on their behalf, with the three campsites leased to Camping in the Forest (CiTF), a business owned by the Camping and Caravanning Club.

The sites are located at Glenmore (Cairngorms), Cashel (Loch Lomond) and Cobleland (Loch Lomond).

The closures will have a significant impact on local businesses, the environment and all the staff involved, Mr Ewing said.

FLS is also "deeply concerned" about the decision and is said to be exploring a number of options in order to overturn the decision.

Mr Ewing commented: “At a time when tourism is so important to Scotland, this decision by CiTF is not acceptable in any way shape or form. We will soon be asking tourism businesses to open up again and I would expect CiTF to do the same.

“This decision must be reversed and I have instructed FLS to leave no stone unturned to get these campsites open again this season.

“With all the challenges we are facing due to COVID-19, this decision is robbing people of the opportunity to holiday in Scotland. Having access to these sites is important for people’s well-being and in providing the opportunity to enjoy all that our forests have to offer.”

Simon Hodgson, CEO of FLS, added: “This is not our decision and we are immensely disappointed that Camping in the Forest does not intend to open any of its sites in 2020.  We are to hold urgent talks with the company and other affected stakeholders with a view to reversing this decision.

”It is our aim that the three sites in Scotland are available in some form of use this season.”

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