Scottish Outdoor Access Code
The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 created the right of ‘responsible public access’ to most land in Scotland. The main parts of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 are that:
– Everyone has the statutory right of access,
– Access rights apply to all land and inland waters (unless excluded)
– Access rights are for outdoor recreation, for crossing land and water, and for some educational and commercial purposes.
– Exercising access rights, and managing access land, must be done responsibly.
However, the act does not include the right to access houses and gardens, farm buildings and yards, land next to a school and used by the school, Sports or playing fields when these are in use and where the exercise of access rights would interfere with such use. Golf courses (but you can cross a golf course provided you don’t interfere with any games of golf). Places like airfields, railways, telecommunication sites, military bases and installations, working quarries and construction sites. It also does not include visitor attractions or other places which charge for entry (from Outdoor Access Scotland Website).
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code has been approved by the Scottish Parliament under section 10 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act. For further details on the code click here.
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code advises the public to be aware of potentially dangerous farm animals, to keep a safe distance if passing through an area with livestock and to consider using an alternative route. The Code advises people not to take dogs into fields where there are young animals present. (Health and Safety Executive Website)
Under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code access rights apply to dog owners if you are walking your dog(s) provided they are “kept under proper control”. The dog must be properly controlled to protect young farm animals and ground-nesting birds. More than half of Scotland’s birds nest on the ground. For further information on the outdoor access code and dogs click here.