Is there any record of rights of way in Scotland?

on .

Yes. ScotWays maintains a National Catalogue of Rights of Way. Local authorities also have their own records.

In the early 1990s, with the help of Scottish Natural Heritage and local authorities, ScotWays compiled a catalogue of all the known rights of way in Scotland - Catalogue of Rights of Way (CROW). The catalogue consists of two parts: a database with information about each route, and 1:50,000 scale digital maps. CROW is not available online but you can find out more information by contacting the Society's office.

The catalogue does not include all rights of way - many of these are known only to local people and come to the Society's notice when a problem arises. However, the Society often adds routes to CROW from information provided by Local Authorities, community groups and its own members.

Classification of rights of way:

The catalogue provides an indication of who has the right to use each route, if this is known - routes are classified as "vehicular", "horse", "cycle", "pedestrian" or "unknown". The minimum right is use by pedestrians.

There is no legislative requirement for a right of way to be recorded anywhere, so any route that meets the conditions to be a right of way, is a right of way.  No further action is necessary.  Occasionally, rights of way are challenged and the courts have to decide if the challenge is correct.  Where this happens the right of way is called "vindicated" and these are highlighted in CROW.

We show three types of route in CROW:


Vindicated

All routes declared to be rights of way by the courts, and which have evidence of continued usage (if necessary). This category also includes diversion orders and other legal events. Evidence of continued usage is only necessary where a landowner contends that a route has fallen out of use for the necessary prescriptive period (20 years), and has, therefore, ceased to be a right of way.

Right of Way

All routes which the Society considers meet the conditions for being rights of way.

Other Route

All permissive routes and those created by agreement or which do not as yet satisfy the required conditions.

CROW records over 7,500 routes, and the Society continually updates its information about these routes, including information from surveys being carried out by a team of volunteers all over Scotland.