Mapping Scotland's Paths

Scotland has fantastic access rights and landscapes, but sadly Scottish maps don’t show a comprehensive overview of our path network. 

To begin to address the issue, we have launched an exciting new project - called Mapping Scotland’s Paths - which aims to create a publicly-available dataset of paths in Scotland. 

This nationally consistent dataset will go beyond the 21,000km of core paths to include a much larger proportion of the recorded 84,000km path network.

As an important step along the way to achieving this, we’re also working with partners to agree a national definition for what paths should be mapped.

We believe there is great potential to improve the mapping of paths in Scotland, to help more people get active and feel confident to explore our wonderful nature and landscapes.

The project supports the aims of our Out There campaign, which is working to make it much easier for everyone to enjoy our outdoors. 

Mapping Scotland’s Paths launched in autumn 2019 with a ‘Proof of Concept’ exercise, focusing on a test area stretching from North Ayrshire to Loch Lomond.

We’re also working with partners to define criteria for which paths should be mapped, before we roll out the project further across Scotland. 

We’ll share more details soon, but if you’ve any questions, please email project officer Luke Phillips on luke.phillips@ramblers.org.uk.

 
 

How can partner organisations get involved with the project?

If you are within the Proof of Concept area, you could contact us about attending occasional steering group meetings. These meetings will act as a means to discuss project progress, next steps and ways that the dataset can be of benefit.

Regardless of where you're based, if you have data which could contribute to the project across Scotland, we'd love to hear from you! Ideally we will need data in a shapefile or other GIS format.

How can I keep up with the progress of the project?

We will regularly update this page as the project progresses. If you work for a partner organisation and would like more regular updates, please let us know and we will added to you to our distribution list for regular email updates. We'll keep Ramblers Scotland members informed throughout the project.

What are the timescales for the project?

Our project manager joined on a two-year contract in summer 2019. The first meeting of the Proof of Concept partners took place in early October 2019. The hope is for the Proof of Concept dataset to be completed by the end of 2019, with decisions to be made around the further roll-out across Scotland.

Where is the Proof of Concept based?

The proof of concept area will focus on a section of the west of Scotland taking in North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire and a part of Argyll & Bute. The area also contains a section of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park and Clyde Muirshiel regional park. 

Who will benefit from the project?

Everyone! Once it's complete, everyone will be able to freely access the dataset we produce. That means you can use it to find paths, create routes and promote walking opportunities within your area. We believe that providing people with better knowledge of paths in their area, we can help get more people active and improve the physical and mental health of the nation.
 

Will the data be open to all?

Yes, the network of paths created through this project will be publicly-available and free for everyone to use. We hope that it will encourage more people to be active and enjoy Scotland’s landscapes and world-class access rights.