Scottish Outdoor Access Code for land managers

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives everyone a statutory right of access to most land and inland waters in Scotland for outdoor recreation, education and for crossing land and water provided they act responsibly.

Landowners, farmers, foresters or other land managers as well as recreation managers including countryside rangers or access officers can help outdoor users do this by managing access land appropriately and following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Key things for land managers to remember:

  • Respect access rights in managing land and water
  • Act reasonably when asking people to avoid land management operations
  • Work with the local authority and other bodies to help integrate access and land management
  • When managing land and water where access rights do not apply take into account neighbouring land and water where they do

Land managers can ask people to avoid routes and avoid doing particular things while work is being carried out if the work creates serious – or less obvious – hazards.

Key things for recreation managers to remember:

  • Avoid obstructing or discouraging public access
  • Act reasonably if they need to limit public access during land management operations
  • Help people enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

More information, including the full Scottish Outdoor Access Code and an A-Z practical guide on what to do in situations land and recreation manager might encounter, can be found at