A CAMP site opened just two weeks ago to stop wild camping in the Loch Lomond area has deteriorated into a boggy mess, according to critics.
Remarkable pictures of the £345,000 “official” camp site show the area is a quagmire with much of the land covered by brambles and on a slope too steep for tents.
Campers at Loch Chon have also complained that the newly-installed toilets do not have running water.
The approved site was set up in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park after yobbish wild campers littered and started fires in some of the region’s most popular areas.
Loch Chon officially opened on March 1 and promises “wonderful views of nearby hills and mountains” and “is a gem of a discovery for outdoors fans”.
But photos taken by Ross MacBeath tell a different story.
One snap shows a pitch site which is cleary on a slope with large rocks sticking up out of the ground.
Another features the land devoid of grass with pools of water forming on the muddy surface at one camp spot.
A tent is also pictured on a muddied and rocky area next to a path as the designated pitching area was on a hill.
In another image a walker’s boots are almost submerged in a bog at the site.
Mr McBeath claims “22 of the 26 camping pitches” were not suitable for setting up a tent and that the toilets on site didn’t have running water.
Mr McBeath wrote on Facebook after visiting the campsite on Sunday.
He said: “Spent the afternoon at Loch Chon – Open or Not? – Not!
“Acceptance and hand over from contractor not achieved yet, no water, so no toilets, 22 of the 26 Camping pitches are not suitable for pitching a tent.
“Their booking portal is still advertising these facilities as being provided for the £7 fee with no indication there is a problem.
“The National Park Authority are in breach of Trading Standards (although no enforcement action can taken against them) and of course false advertising but they still continue to take bookings.
He continued: “The National Park are deceiving the public and ministers all to save face, it’s not acceptable.
“We are now into week three since they claimed it opened a flurry of publicity even though they were aware of these issues.
“So no, it’s not open they are just pretending and charging unsuspecting visitors for a service they don’t receive.”
A spokesman for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park admitted there were still some “snagging issues” with the site.
They said: “As with any new site, there have been some snagging issues such as the running water which was unavailable for a few days due to a temporary problem with the new connection.
“Contingencies were immediately put in place to accommodate any campers who still wished to camp at the site and water and toilets have been available at all times. The connection problem has now been resolved.”
He added: “At any time of year, the weather can have an impact on the state of the ground.
“There are a very small number of pitches which are too wet at this point to be suitable for camping on so these are not available to book.”
New seasonal by-laws came into force at the start of the month restricting camping around Loch Lomond and in the Trossachs.
Four camping management zones in popular areas between March and September will now require a permit or booking a campsite pitch.
Those flouting the by-laws may now face being reported to the procurator fiscal and a potential fine of up to £500.
Wild camping was banned after anti-social visitors left areas of the park covered in rubbish and litter. Fire-starting in the park has also been a problem amoung some campers, who have left the ground badly scorched.