Access Legislation

New legislation has recently been passed which clarifies public access rights in Scotland.

Land Reform Scotland Act 2003

Part One of the Land Reform Scotland Act 2003 has been created to give everyone greater freedom to enjoy the outdoors. It clarifies for both access users and land managers what you can and cannot do as well as where you can and cannot go. The new legislation came into force on 9 February 2004 creating “a statutory right of responsible access to most areas of land and inland water for the purpose of recreation and crossing land.”

The new right of access includes:

The main places where access rights do not apply are:

Access rights do not extend to:

In addition to creating a new access right, the Act also places nine new duties and eleven new powers upon the Council including:

Scottish Outdoor Access Code

With the new access right comes a duty for everyone to act responsibly in the countryside. To define what is meant by responsible access the Scottish Outdoor Access Code has been produced. The Code gives advice and guidance to users and land managers on what their responsibilities are in relation to access.

The Code is based on three key principles which apply equally to access users and land managers:

Finding Out More

Related Sites

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535


Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS