Enjoy Scotland’s outdoors. It’s a great place that contributes to your quality of life, your health and your awareness and enjoyment of your surroundings. Everyone has the right to be on most land and inland water for recreation, education and for going from place to place providing they act responsibly. These rights and responsibilities are explained in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Know your access rights

Access rights cover many activities, including for example:

These access rights don’t apply to any kind of motorised activity (unless for disabled access) or to hunting, shooting or fishing.

Access rights can be exercised over most of Scotland, from urban parks and path networks to our hills and forests, and from farmland and field margins to our beaches, lochs and rivers. However, access rights don’t apply everywhere, such as in buildings or their immediate surroundings, or in houses or their gardens, or most land in which crops are growing.

Know the Code…

Access rights come with responsibilities which are fully explained in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, though the main thing is to use common sense. You need to take responsibility for your own actions, respect the interests of others and care for the environment – what does all this mean?

When you’re in the outdoors, you need to:

If you’re a farmer, landowner or someone else managing the outdoors, you need to think about the needs of people enjoying the outdoors. You need to:

If you’re responsible for places where access rights don’t apply, such as a farmyard or land surrounding a building, respect rights of way and any customary access, and work with your local authority, or your national park authority, and others to help improve and manage access.

Find out more about your access rights and responsibilities - and also about rights of way and customary access - by picking up the Scottish Outdoor Access Code or visiting www.outdooraccess-scotland.com. If you are having access problems - get in touch with your local authority or national park authority (see your local phone book). If you would like to have a copy of the full Code phone Scottish Natural Heritage on 01738 458545 or email pubs@snh.gov.uk.

Look out for other approved guidance which carries the Access Code logo.