Access Rights
 

Access Rights, Rules and Guidelines

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 translates into law what people commonly regarded as their “right to roam” in Scotland. It states the rights and responsibilities of those exercising access rights, as well as those of land managers and recreation managers. You have the right to access most land and inland water including mountains, moorland, woods and forests, grassland, fields, rivers and lochs, coastal areas, most parks and open spaces, golf courses (to cross them); day and night, providing you do so responsibly. It also requires local authorities to uphold access rights. This Act is supported by the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC). The key messages whether you're in the outdoors or managing the outdoors, are to:

  • take responsibility for your own actions
  • respect the interests of other people
  • care for the environment

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland explains your responsibilities under the new code clearly here: http://www.mcofs.org.uk/know-the-code.asp

Lynn Macdonald is the club's representative on the Renfrewshire Local Access Forum. Mostly this forum covers only local issues which you may wonder at its relevance to the club as most of our walks are outwith Renfrewshire. The local access forum however does have connections to the national forum which is relevant to our walks.

Sue Riches has been appointed a member of the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs Access Forum, to represent mountaineering and hillwalking interests in the Park, working closely with the MCofS. The forum sits each quarter to:

advise on the responsible use of access rights
advise on responsible land and water management in relation to the new access rights
promote understanding and awareness of access rights and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code amongst both access users and land managers.
advise on the development of the Park’s Core Paths Plan.
advise, as required, on strategic access matters that may arise within the National Park area.

If you encounter any access issues, have any queries or good stories also, please contact Sue on phcwebadmin@paisleyhillwalkingclub.org.uk

The purpose of each forum is the same irrespective of where you walk. Firstly to make sure that the access laws are working i.e. that you can go where you want within reason; and secondly that people are educated in the correct way to use our countryside.  We are sure our club members are responsible in the way they exercise their rights and we would encourage others to be so, too but it does no harm to be reminded. Key RAF, NAF (National Access Forum) and LLTAF issues will be posted here after each meeting.

The three following links will give access to local and national projects relating to the Great Outdoors, The Paths for All website has some very useful links attached to it.  All info relating to National issues are available on the link below including minutes of meetings if you require a more detailed look at what’s going on.  

http://www.snh.gov.uk/enjoying-the-outdoors/your-access-rights/

http://www.pathsforall.org.uk/

http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/

See also http://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/looking-after/local-access-forum/menu-id-407.html

Hillphone service

The service currently covers 80 Munros and 32 Corbetts. A map of the areas covered and phone numbers are available on http://www.snh.org.uk/hillphones/. Stalking does not usually take place on Sundays or before August, but it is always safest to check. Remember the Scottish Outdoor Access Code says if you are heading to the hills July to October, you should take reasonable steps to find out where deer stalking is taking place and land managers should provide information to allow you to do so. This site allows you to search whether the munro/corbett you wish to climb is covered by a hillphone area; and gives more detailed tips and info on stalking.

The SNH and the Deer Commission for Scotland, along with the National Access Forum, are developing a new Heading for the Scottish Hills site which will take Hillphones a step further. This is currently being piloted at http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/Practical-guide/Public/heading-for-the-scottish-hills 

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