A non-comprehensive series looking at some of the people that have contributed to ScotWays and Scottish outdoor access across the last 175 years.

The next person in our series is Adam Black (1784-1874)

Born 2 February 1784, Adam Black was a notable Edinburgh bookseller and publisher, twice Lord Provost of the city and MP from 1856-65. His firm published three editions of the Encyclopædia Britannica, and bought up the stock and copyright of Scott’s Waverley Novels. His statue, showing him in a rather austere pose wearing what looks like a hefty greatcoat trimmed with Astrakhan wool, can be seen in East Princes Street Gardens just along from the Scott Monument.

Lord Provost Black convened the 1844 meeting which identified the need to defend the public right of access around the city against attempts by landowners to close off traditional routes. That led on in 1845 to the establishment of the “Association for the Protection of Public Rights of Roadway in and around Edinburgh” – the rather long-winded title for the first incarnation of what is now ScotWays. So he has a real claim to be regarded as the founding father, or at least godfather, of ScotWays.