We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Scottish Land Access Rights

Under Part 1 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 there is a right of responsible non-motorised access, for recreational and other purposes, to land and inland water throughout Scotland with few exceptions. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code sets out where access rights apply and what you can do within access rights. It also describes where you cannot go in exercising access rights, such as fields of crops or the gardens of houses.

The right of access only applies if it is exercised responsibly, and the Code provides information on what is responsible behaviour in relation to a variety of circumstances, and the kind of land management activities which you should make sure not to interfere with.

The emphasis of Part 1 of the Act is on the management of access at a local level and as such it provides local authorities and National Park authorities ("access authorities") with adequate powers to manage access in their area. One of the duties of access authorities is to uphold the exercise of access rights over any route, waterway or other means by which access rights may be exercised. If access is being prevented the access authority can serve a notice requiring the obstruction to be removed.