We have four sections of frequently asked questions (FAQs). The first deals with common questions we get about rights of way, the second deals with the statutory rights of access created by Part 1 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, the third deals with 175 years of ScotWays and outdoor access in Scotland and fourth are links that you may find useful.
Rights of way have been in existence since time immemorial. They are created by people using the same route for a number of years without challenge. Traditionally rights of way law has been formed in the courts so there is much more case law about them than statutory legislation.
The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (which came into force in 2005) gives everyone rights of access over land and inland water throughout Scotland, subject to specific exclusions set out in the Act and as long as they behave responsibly. These rights are sometimes referred to as 'freedom to roam'.
ScotWays is 175 years old in 2020! Join us in celebrating 175 years of upholding, promoting, defending and advising on rights of way and public access rights.
We’ll have a variety of activities throughout the year, including walks to significant locations in the history of public access in Scotland (which you can do yourself or as part of one of our members’ walks). You can discover old signposts and test your access knowledge with our fiendish online quiz. We’re also creating a timeline of the history of ScotWays and of outdoor access in Scotland which will be published on significant dates throughout the year.
Most importantly, get out and about and exercise your access rights and yourself!
The ScotWays 175th Anniversary Challenge
We ran a celebratory virtual challenge event where we journeyed in the footsteps of Walter Smith and a signposting deputation through the Grampian Mountain Passes in July 1885. You can still learn about the history of the area and help to raise money for our next 175 years.
175 years in 21 minutes
Walks - Revisit the scenes of our triumphs!
Throughout the year, we’ll be publishing a series of walks to locations such as Glen Tilt and Glen Doll where some of the early access ‘battles’ took place. Watch this space!
Challenge yourself in our Access Quiz
Find out how much you know about your access rights, where you can go and what you can do
Find as many cast-iron signposts as you can
ScotWays has installed thousands of green and white signs on paths across Scotland. We’ll shortly be putting up a map showing where some of the oldest are, plus the stories behind them. There may be a prize for the person who surveys the most posts! Watch this space.
Highlights throughout the year – a timeline of Scottish access and ScotWays from 1845 to 2020
During the year our social media sites will carry stories of our history and the development of outdoor access in Scotland across those 175 years. Those posts are collected here in date order, some with extra information, forming a timeline of Scottish outdoor access and ScotWays through the ages. Follow #ScotWays175