There are many farmers and landowners who feel that investing in the provision of outdoor access infrastructure will not generate a return for their business. Whilst it is true to say that landowners cannot put up a turnstile at the start of a path or foot of a hill and charge the public for being on the ground, Scottish outdoor access rights do provide opportunities to add real value to land management businesses. Options include providing services to people exercising access rights and charging a fee, diversifying businesses to offer activities or accommodation, or being part of a local co-ordinated group of land managers and activity / service providers whose businesses benefit from being associated with each other.
Outdoor access infrastructure can provide a number of advantages to land-based businesses and it can be a starting point from which to diversify into the provision of outdoor recreation and tourism facilities and services. Indeed, indications are that the “adventure tourism” market in Scotland is set to grow. The establishment of access rights has in part helped with this trend. Scotland is perceived internationally as having a rich, varied and accessible outdoors, an outstanding and valued resource giving real market advantage and bringing added value to those who make their living from managing the land.