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National Access Forum

Earlier this week Scottish Land & Estates attended the National Access Forum in Battleby. Following on from the last NAF meeting in January and a site visit in March on the agenda for discussion was the issue of unauthorised mountain bike trail building and the desire by some members of NAF including Scottish Land & Estates to see the formation of a sub-working group to take forward outcome focused work on this issue. There was agreement by the forum that this was a desired approach and work is now being taken forward on forming a working group which will be chaired independently of the NAF.

At the Forum there was also some discussion with regards outdoor access and parking and how some areas are seeing vehicles parked without regard to the interests of others, with reported problems of vehicles blocking entrances to fields and buildings, double parking – making it difficult for others to use the road, including emergency services. With respect to how Local Authorities are dealing with this issue there was agreement amongst the Forum that inconsistent approaches were being taken and mixed messages were being given. It was agreed this topic would be given further consideration at the next NAF meeting in the meantime a paper is to be written which will be used to lead discussions at the September meeting and used to decide on what approach to take in addressing this issue.

In addition the above the Forum had a brief update on where things are at with the revised Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 Guidance to Local Authorities. Apparently some significant updates have been made to the draft which will hopefully be out for consultation shortly. Occupiers Liability was discussed briefly at the Forum, Rob Garner (SNH) has produced a case law update which includes some more recent cases from 2011, 2014 and 2017. Paper versions are available for insert into the existing printed copies of this document or in due course SNH will be looking to update the online version of this document.

In the afternoon the Forum was briefly joined by Andrew Thin from the Scottish Land Commission who gave some background information on the role of the SLC. It was made clear that SNH will remain the main advisor on access and issues should continue to be directed to them. 

 

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