THE number of Orange and loyalist marches across Scotland has risen compared to figures from last year, with a particular jump in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, the Sunday National can reveal.

We told last year how there were 213 marches across 16 local authority areas, marking an increase of 16% on 2022.

In 2024, there are a total of 352 Orange and loyalist marches taking place across 19 local authorities – a 65% increase.

READ MORE: Glasgow: Councillor hits out at 'excessive' Orange Order marches

In our investigation, the Sunday National has included both Orange Order marches and those of the Apprentice Boys of Derry – which regards itself as a separate organisation.

What does the data say?

The figures for 2024 take into account any march which has already taken place or is planned, according to the website for every local authority.

Glasgow has once again come out on top with the most notifications for parades taking place – increasing to 122 from 58 last year.

However, this still pales in comparison to the figures in 2019 when 192 marches took place across the area.

Elsewhere, there has been a sharp increase in North Lanarkshire which will see 77 marches this year, compared with just 36 in 2023.

In third place in our rankings was West Lothian, where 39 marches are scheduled to take place across the year, whereas there were just 11 in 2023.

A total of eight notifications have been made to Fife Council as well – a significant increase given our data previously showed there were no marches between 2019 and 2023.

The Sunday National’s investigation comes following major opposition to two marches in the past few months.

Firstly, an Orange Order march which was planned to go ahead in Stonehaven in March was blocked by Aberdeenshire Council – a move which was backed by a judge at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday.

The decision came after thousands signed a petition in opposition to the parade and a number of businesses said they would close.

The National: Some areas in Scotland have seen an increase in Orange Order and loyalist marches in 2024

Elsewhere, more than 5000 people also signed a petition in the Highlands calling for a march arranged by the Apprentice Boys of Derry to be halted.

The march ultimately went ahead and, overall, a total of two marches will be held this year in the local authority area.

Was there a decrease anywhere in Scotland?

Some areas which have historically seen a larger number of marches will see a decrease in 2024.

Our figures from 2019 showed 21 marches across Renfrewshire compared with just seven in total this year.

Likewise, Falkirk held 22 marches in 2023 whereas there will only be 18 in total this year – use the map below to see how the figures have changed since 2019.

Other areas to have seen a decrease include North Ayrshire, which currently only has notifications of three parades compared with eight last year.

Likewise, East Dunbartonshire will only host two compared to three in 2023.

When is the biggest day for marches?

One of the biggest days for loyalist parades across the country is July 6 – just days before the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

In terms of specific areas, thousands will descend on four local authorities in particular – Glasgow, North and South Lanarkshire and West Lothian.

Various petitions calling for the halting of all the marches can be found online, with almost 5000 people signing one from a Glasgow resident who said they were “deeply affected by the division and animosity that the Orange Order marches bring to our community”.

“These parades, often seen as a celebration of Protestant culture and history, have unfortunately become synonymous with bigotry and hate across our nation," it said.

On July 6 alone, the following number of marches will take place across the four aforementioned council areas:

  • Glasgow – 51
  • North Lanarkshire - 42
  • South Lanarkshire – 10
  • West Lothian – 8

Spokespeople for a number of councils have pointed out that, despite objections, it is not always necessarily easy to halt parades.

A South Lanarkshire spokesperson said: "Parades may only be prohibited if Police Scotland objects and there is evidence of the likelihood of threats to public safety or serious public disorder."

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire added: “Organisers of any public procession must submit their plans to the local authority.

"Unless there are objections from Police Scotland on public safety, the local authority cannot stop a parade from going ahead. Organisers must follow the code of conduct for processions.

“If the large parade proposed in Airdrie on July 6 goes ahead, we will advise local communities in advance about the likely impact on traffic.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: “The legislation that governs public processions is set nationally.

"There is a presumption in law that processions can take place, unless there is a reason to intervene – and these reasons are quite narrowly defined in the statutory framework.

“A local authority requires credible evidence in order to take such a step – usually by way of intelligence from the police about a risk of disorder or a threat to public safety. As such, we can only ever look at events on a case by case basis.”

All the above data was gathered and accurate as of Friday, May 4. Applications for processions or parades could be removed or declined before they take place.