Upland Path Management

Paths photographs

Welcome to the web version of the Upland Path Advisory Group’s (UPAG) Upland Path Management Manual. This publication has been designed to cover the process of managing an upland path project from developing a proposal, through project delivery and aftercare. It compliments the Upland Pathwork Manual which covers practical pathwork techniques and the context in which they should be used. Both manuals have been designed for use by all involved in upland path management, although many of the principles also apply to lowland paths.

The manual was first produced by UPAG in 2003. Since the original publication there have been significant changes to the legal framework which may impact on the design and construction of upland paths in Scotland. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives everyone the right of responsible access to most land and inland water, provided they behave responsibly. This includes cycling and horse riding as well as walking and may influence how and where people choose to take part in recreational activities. The www.outdooraccess-scotland.com website provides further information.

The Disability Discrimination Acts (DDA) of 1995 and 2005 make it illegal to discriminate against people on grounds of their disability. For service providers, including path providers this means that 'reasonable adjustments' must be made to allow disabled people to use their services. Whilst ‘reasonable adjustments’ in relation to the DDA has yet to be defined in case law this is likely to include:-

In practical terms this may include replacing a cross drain with a culvert or re-routing a path to reduce gradient. Before spending money on pathwork, ask yourself whether what you are designing is as accessible as possible and if not, are there good reasons to justify your actions if challenged. Details of best practice and additional information can be found in further reading.

UPAG would welcome comments on the guidance or information on new techniques. Contact can be made through recreationandaccess@snh.gov.uk.

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