News

Latest news stories from ScotWays.

Christmas and New Year at ScotWays

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ScotWays will close for the festive season on Thursday 23nd December 2021 and re-open on Wednesday 5th January 2022.

General rights of way and access enquiries: We are working hard to answer as many enquiries as possible before Christmas, but unfortunately as we are very busy at present some of you may have to wait until the New Year to receive a response.

ScotWays webshop: Once we're closed for our holiday, we will not be processing any more orders until we re-open in the New Year. The good news is that there will probably be a sale offer if we have any remaining Christmas cards!

Rights of way searches for solicitors, land managers and developers: We aim to respond to all formal search requests within 10 working days of receipt. As our office will be closed for two weeks over Christmas and New Year, any search request received after 5pm on Thursday 9th December 2021 may not be completed until after we're back at our desks on 5th January 2022. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us all at ScotWays!

ScotWays AGM 2021

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This year our AGM will be held virtually on Saturday 20 November 2021.  Click on the picture above to find all the information about the AGM along with the documentation you will need for the event.

Registration:

To attend the AGM you need to register in advance.   Only people who have registered will be able to attend.  Once your registration has been accepted you will be sent an email with joining details.  Keep this safe as you will need it to join us on the day. 

New ScotWays Christmas Cards for 2021

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New ScotWays Christmas Cards for 2021! 

We have two new card designs this year: Heading up Howden Glen, Pentland Hills by Alison Riddell, and Stirling Castle and Ben Vorlich by Richard Barron. Both designs are sure to prove popular, so order soon to avoid disappointment.

Each pack of Christmas cards contains 10 cards (approx 15cm x 10cm) of a single design, plus envelopes. They are available to buy from our online shop, here. Alternatively, you can send a cheque made payable to ScotWays, to our office at 24 Annandale Street, Edinburgh; as our office remains closed, although post is being picked up at least weekly, ordering using a cheque may result in a delay in sending out your order. Please remember to add a flat rate of £2.40 per order to help cover postage and packing.  

Remember, 100% of profits from the sale of our cards go directly to ScotWays funds, so why not take a look at our packs of note cards too? They make great stocking fillers and are useful for thankyou notes. 

Last, but not least, one more seasonal delight! ScotWays is pleased to continue its long-standing support of Friends of the Pentlands by stocking their 2022 calendar - Hidden Treasures of the Pentlands.

Come and Help us Uphold Access Rights!

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We have two vacancies for people to come and join our team. Both will be based in our Edinburgh office but will be subject to our Hybrid Working Policy meaning they will be able to work from home or another location.

Access Officer part-time (3 days a week).

This post plays a key role in our enquiry management process.  You will receive, record and answer enquiries from the public and solicitors about rights of way and public access issues across Scotland. You will have good communication skills, both verbal and written, and an eye for detail.  You will be computer literate with experience in data management.  Knowledge of customer relations, CRM systems and outdoor access in Scotland will be beneficial.

You can find out more by reading the Access Officer: job description and person specification.

 

Access Officer (Outreach) (full-time).

This post will suit a person skilled in volunteer management.  You will be responsible for the development and management of our volunteer network across Scotland.  You will have practical conservation/outdoor access skills that will enable you to monitor and maintain our signposts through our volunteer network.  A good understanding of PR, and social media, in particular, will enable you to promote the work of ScotWays and increase both our membership and volunteer network.  You will be computer literate and experience in data management and outdoor access in Scotland will be beneficial.

You can find out more by reading the Access Officer (Outreach): job description and person specification.

 

Applications for this post are now CLOSED

Interviews: By Zoom, Access Officer Tuesday 5 October 2021 and Access Officer (Outreach) Friday 8 October

 


How To Apply

Please send your CV, accompanied by a covering letter, setting out:

• How your skills and experience would enable you to meet the requirements of this post, as outlined in the person specification and job description, providing specific examples,

• Why you want this job (in no more than 100 words),

• Details of two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent employer - please state whether we may contact them prior to the interview,

• Whether you are currently eligible for employment in the UK - please state what documentation you can provide to demonstrate this, e.g. British passport, European Economic Area identity card, full birth certificate/passport or travel document showing an authorisation to reside and work in the UK.

Please submit your application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 17:00 on the closing date of Monday 27 September 2021.

Applications received afterwards may not be considered.

If a job offer is made, the candidate will be required to fill in forms covering any relevant health issues and criminal convictions. Referees are not normally contacted prior to a job offer. Thus, any job offer will be subject to satisfactory references and no issues under health and criminal convictions.

Thank you for your interest in this post. If you do not hear from us within three weeks of the closing date, please assume that your application is unlikely to have been successful on this occasion.

 

Dalwhinnie Level Crossing Closure

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The Ben Alder level crossing, south of Dalwhinnie station, was closed unilaterally by Network Rail on 28th July 2021. This level crossing has long been in public use and is recorded as a public right of way. An historic route from Loch Rannoch and along Loch Ericht to Dalwhinnie is shown on the Roy Military Survey (1747-55), which is testament to its importance and long-standing use. In present times, as well as the level crossing remaining useful for long distance travellers, it provides a vital link in Dalwhinnie's signposted local path network. This closure is of great inconvenience to Dalwhinnie's residents and visitors alike. And if this level crossing can be unilaterally closed without consultation, where will be next?

ScotWays heard of the level crossing’s imminent closure shortly before the gates were locked, so wrote to Network Rail reminding them that a route across it is a recorded public right of way. ScotWays consider that the restriction to the level crossing’s use by the general public is an unauthorised obstruction of the public’s right, so strongly object to its closure. We have recommended that Network Rail consult with the local community, affected land-owners and relevant interested parties, such as recreational access organisations and the emergency services. 

Network Rail disagrees with ScotWays’ position, instead asserting that the level crossing is private. As a result, ScotWays has been consulting with legal experts. We are also in touch with The Highland Council and Cairngorms National Park access teams, Dalwhinnie Community Council, recreational access bodies and many others to find a way forward, but for now the level crossing remains closed.

Currently, it appears the lack of consultation ahead of the level crossing’s closure may have exacerbated any potential safety issues here. For example, it is not clear that any signage about the closure has been erected by Network Rail other than at the level crossing itself. We consider there may be opportunities to improve both safety and public access at Dalwhinnie, but this will necessitate Network Rail engaging with the local community and other interests. ScotWays asks that, as a first step, Network Rail re-opens this level crossing.

Ramblers Scotland created an e-petition urging Network Rail to reconsider, supported by British Horse Society Scotland, Cycling UK in Scotland, Mountaineering Scotland, Scottish Canoe Association and ScotWays.  Over 9,000 individuals signed it.

 

A crowd summit and the remains of a large fire

Onslaught or Opportunity? TODAY

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Finding solutions for our post-lockdown countryside

TODAY 16 April 2021, 12.30 – 2pm, Facebook Live.

Last summer, with the release of long pent-up demand, we saw unprecedented, chaotic and hugely disruptive pressure of visitors seeking to enjoy Scotland’s countryside.  Sadly, that pressure was exacerbated by the damaging behaviour of a minority, ranging from simple ignorance of responsible access to blatant criminality.

Join our panel, under the watchful eye of our independent chair, award-winning journalist and special correspondent for BBC News, James Naughtie, as they discuss these issues and search for both short term and long-term solutions.

Our Panellists are:

Graham Simpson, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party candidate for East Kilbride and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity

Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green Party candidate for Inverness & Nairn

Alex Rowley, Scottish Labour Party candidate for Mid Scotland and Fife

Molly Nolan, Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Caithness, Sutherland & Ross

Ben MacPherson, Scottish National Party candidate for Edinburgh Northern & Leith

 

The Hustings will be broadcast live TODAY on our Facebook via Facebook Live.  You don’t need an account to watch, but you will need one if you wish to leave a comment.

If you missed it ...

Fear not, the hustings was recorded and you can find it under videos or events on our Facebook Page for you to enjoy at your leisure!