Out There: Getting paths on the map

Relatively few paths are shown on maps in Scotland compared with England and Wales – where there is an extensive mapped network of footpaths, bridleways and other paths. 

In fact, even some popular, well-maintained and promoted paths don’t feature on Ordnance Survey maps. For example at Dunning Glen in Perthshire, the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, and Maspie Den in Fife.  

We believe that showing more paths on Scotland’s printed and digital maps would have wide-ranging benefits for the health and happiness of our nation. 

It would help communities promote their local routes, reassure less confident walkers and make it easier for everyone to find new paths to explore and enjoy.

In autumn 2019, we launched our new Mapping Scotland's Paths project to address this issue. Read more here.

During the first 12 months of the Out There campaign, we welcomed:

  • The first-ever map of all ‘core paths’
    This was published online by Scottish Natural Heritage using open source data, an encouraging first step towards getting more paths on printed maps.

  • Mapping discussions at Holyrood
    We discussed mapping with Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

  • Encouraging research
    We commissioned mapping experts to speak with a wide range of organisations and make practical recommendations for solutions to mapping challenges.

  • A major survey
    An independent questionnaire of 1,100 people in Scotland showed 75% support for more paths on maps and on the ground.

We’re now looking forward to building on these developments – to get more paths on Scotland’s maps in future.