Policy & Lobbying
Access
A statutory right of access to most land and inland water has existed in Scotland since February 2005. The legislation that created this right, Part 1 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, places reciprocal obligations on access takers and land managers to behave reasonably and responsibly in terms of the exercise and facilitation of access rights.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code has been developed to give further detailed guidance on how responsible behaviour might be achieved by both those accessing the countryside and land managers. 

Scottish Land & Estates’s policy position is as follows:
  • Scottish Land & Estates works in partnership with other relevant organisations and government agencies to ensure that both access takers and land managers understand the obligations that accompany the right of access.
  • Scottish Land & Estates monitors the impacts of the right of access on rural businesses.
  • Scottish Land & Estates works in partnership with other relevant organisations and government agencies to find new and innovative solutions in areas where public access places a burden on land management.
  • Scottish Land & Estates continues to call for appropriate levels of public funding to be available to facilitate public access to private land.
  • Scottish Land & Estates continues to call for a strong and well funded public outdoor access education and awareness campaign.

Current areas of work:

Representation on access fora and other bodies
Scottish Land & Estates sits on the National Access Forum which meets 3 times a year.  We are actively involved in a number of the Forum's subgroups.  The organisation is also represented by members on most of Scotland's 34 local access forums.  Scottish Land & Estates has a place on the Scottish Countryside Access Network Committee.  We are a partner organisation in the Paths for All Partnership.

Developing communication and mutual understanding
For a number of years Scottish Land & Estates has been involved in promoting better communication and mutual understanding between land managers and those who use the countryside recreationally.  One example of this work is our active assistance in Scottish Natural Heritage's development of the Heading for the Scottish Hills webservice.  Other contributors to this project include the Mountaineering Council for Scotland and the Association of Deer Management Groups.  View the Heading for the Scottish Hills webservice here.

Working with the Government to ensure public good benefits from outdoor access are properly recognised and funded
Scottish Land & Estates works on a number of fronts to ensure that public goods and services obtained from private land is properly recognised and funded.  Access is one such area.

Information and Advice
Scottish Land & Estates has developed an extensive range of guidance materials designed to assist land managers to successfully integrate outdoor access with their own management activities.  These materials are available below.  

    Case Studies

    • 05/03/2012 - Case Study: Craufurdland Ltd
      Craufurdland is a small country estate in Ayrshire, which has been home to the Craufurd family since 1245.  Brothers, Simon and Alex Craufurd now run the Estate and their focus is to develop a diversified, sustainable business, relevant to today’s society, and which will secure the property for the next generation.
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    • 19/07/2011 - Case Study: Wildcat Mountain Bike Trails
        Case Study: Wildcat Mountain Bike Trails, Sutherland
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    • 19/07/2011 - Case Study: Spey River Users’ Group
      Case Study focusing on resolving land use (access) conflicts.
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    • 19/07/2011 - Case Study: Managing Equestrian Access on the Leys Estate
       Managing Equestrian Access on the Leys Estate.
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    • 29/08/2011 - Case Studies: Equestrian Access
      This document provides a range of case study examples of where equestrian access has been accommodated along routes used for other types of access and/or land management purposes. 
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