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Public Access to the Countryside in Scotland - Management of Access


Part 1 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 sets out that management of access is the responsibility of local authorities and National Parks ("access authorities") and gives them duties and powers to manage access in their areas.

The main duties placed on access authorities under the Act are:

  • To uphold the exercise of access rights over any route, waterway or other means by which access rights may be exercised
  • To plan for a system of core paths
  • To establish one or more local access forums for their area
  • The Act also provides for access authorities to appoint persons to act as rangers
  • To publicise the Scottish Outdoor Access Code drawn up by Scottish Natural Heritage, setting out guidance on the rights and responsibilities of access takers and owners of land.

See the Monitoring Progress section to find out how the access authorities are progressing.