VISITORS to a popular beauty spot in the Stirling countryside are prohibited from having an open container of alcohol in public after changes to a byelaw came into effect.

Amendments to the Stirling Council Prohibition of Drinking of Alcohol in Public Places Byelaw came into effect on Friday, August 27, confirmed the local authority.

The changes, which come following approval by the Scottish Government, mean that the area previously covered by the byelaw in Callander has been extended to include the Invertrossachs Road/South Loch Venachar area.

Also, wording has been added to make it an offence to have an open container of alcohol in a designated public place, with this change applying across all areas in Stirling where the byelaw has effect.

The byelaw, which is enforced by Police Scotland, was first introduced in Stirling in 1998 to prohibit the consumption of alcohol in a list of defined public places.

This list has been amended and expanded over the years but the offence of consuming alcohol in a designated public place was only enforceable by officers who witnessed individuals in the actual act of drinking.

Councillor Scott Farmer, convener of the Public Safety Committee, said: “This update will bring this popular beauty spot in the Stirling Council area of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park into alignment with restrictions already in force in neighbouring local authorities within the national park boundary.

“The change to the byelaw also enables Police Scotland to more effectively respond to complaints of public drinking associated anti-social behaviour, which had been raised by people living in the local community.

“I’d like to thank everybody who took part in the consultation and helped us reach this government-backed decision.”

Cllr Chris Kane, vice convener, added: “The change to the byelaw on public drinking has been made with due consideration to the wishes of local residents and relevant public authorities, including Police Scotland and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority.

“I appreciate the comments and concerns that were made by all parties who engaged with the public consultation and believe that the changes which have been approved by the Scottish Government will resolve many of the issues that were raised.”