Access Law and Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Part of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 translates into statute 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 access authorities to uphold access rights. This Act is supported by the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) which we have explained for you here. An explanation of all the sections of the Code ot particular relevance to mountaineers has been included below.

The other important legislation is the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 which will be particularly interesting to climbers as it affects disturbance to wildlife. The implications of this legislation are explained here.

1. Deer Stalking

2. Human Waste

3. Car Parking

4. Climbing

5. Lighting Fires

6. Group Use

7. Cycling

8. Dogs

9. Grouse shooting

10. Houses and Gardens

11. Farmyards

12. Gates, Fences, Dams, Bridges etc

13. Railways

14. Nature Reserves

15. Paths, Tracks and Rights of Way

16. Unfenced Grassland with Farm Animals