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The Scottish Outdoor Access Code
Right to Roam
Scotland has long had a tradition of open walking and this has now been formalised in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 200 3. This established the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, commonly known as the Right to Roam and which came into force in February 2005. Unlike England and Wales, the Scottish system does not have defined areas where you are allowed to roam free in a patronising sort of a way - in Scotland you can walk more or less anywhere, but you must do so intelligently and with consideration. You can find detailed information at http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com. Culturally, the Scottish attitude to land use, having developed with the non-feudal clan system, is pleasantly different to the rest of the U.K. and most landowners have a very positive approach to walkers if one observes the common courtesies.
In a nutshell, the code is based on three common-sense principles:
Respect other people. Acting with courtesy, consideration and awareness is all-important. Make sure that you respect the privacy, safety and livelihoods of those living or working in the outdoors, and the needs of other people enjoying the outdoors.
Care for the environment. Look after the places you visit and enjoy, and leave the land as you find it.
Take responsibility for your own actions. Remember that the outdoors cannot (and should not) be made risk-free, and act with care at all times for your own safety and that of others.