Access rights milestone marked

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The Ramblers launch a new campaign to mark 15 years since the Land Reform (Scotland) Act

12th January 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Outdoor personalities, politicians and campaigners came together at the Scottish Parliament this week to celebrate 15 years since access laws were extend.

Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham and Richard Lochhead MSP were among the 100 guests at Ramblers Scotland's Celebrating Scotland's Outdoors event to mark 15 years of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act.

The organisation launched its new Out There campaign at the event. The project aims to get more paths on the ground and on maps - to make it easier for more people to enjoy the benefits of Scotland's access rights and landscapes.

Following many years of campaigning by Ramblers Scotland and others, the 2003 act secured rights of access to most of Scotland's land and inland water for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders, canoeists and other non-motorised users - provided those rights are exercised responsibly.

Jess Dolan, director of Ramblers Scotland, said: "Fifteen years on since the passing of the Land Reform Act, there is so much to celebrate. Scotland is now firmly at the top of the outdoor access charts and recreational walking is booming, up 13% in six years.

"Thankfully, conflict between user groups and landowners remains rare, due in no small part to the common sense approach of all - from farmers and foresters, to walkers and cyclists.”

Cunningham, cabinet secretary for the environment, said: "It's been fantastic to celebrate the benefits of the outdoors and mark the progress that we have made on access since this legislation was introduced.

"Our world-leading right of responsible access, as set out in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, surpasses access rights in England in terms of extent, scope and clarity as well as taking the interests of land managers into account."