Latest news stories from ScotWays.

Camping and public access rights

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Scotland’s access rights extend to camping, so long as it’s done responsibly. With the easing of lockdown this summer, we are seeing increased numbers of people camping outwith formal campsites. What can we all do to ensure that camping takes place in a responsible manner?

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code says:

  • Wild camping is lightweight, done in small numbers and for up to 2 or 3 nights only in one place.
  • Do not camp in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals.
  • Camp well away from buildings, roads or historic structures.
  • Leave no trace; take away all litter, remove all traces of your pitch and don’t cause pollution.

In relation to lighting fires, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code says:

  • Wherever possible, use a stove rather than an open fire.
  • If lighting an open fire, keep it small, under control and supervised
  • Never light an open fire during prolonged dry periods, and heed all advice at times of high risk
  • Never light an open fire in forests, woods or on peaty ground
  • Never light an open fire near to buildings or cultural heritage sites
  • Ensure any fire is properly extinguished and remove all traces before you leave.

There has been a lot of recent press coverage about dirty camping, but it is important to remember that Scotland’s access rights do not permit this anti-social behaviour. People who behave in this way do not have access rights and their actions can be dealt with under existing legislation. Mountaineering Scotland has launched a Considerate Camping Campaign to help people consider the impacts of camping, both individually and cumulatively. Their website also provides practical guidance on how to be a responsible camper.

Malcolm Combe, author of the ScotWays Guide to the Law of Access to Land in Scotland, has written a Strathclyde Law Blog article on camping and public access rights.

The 2020 'Virtual' AGM - Saturday 21 November 2020

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The Board has taken the decision that because of the pandemic, this year's AGM will be held virtually using Zoom.

The date has been adjusted from that shown in the Newsletter and the AGM will be held on:

Saturday 21 November 2020.

There will still be a speaker and full details will be sent out with the Annual Report later this year.

Phase 2 of Lockdown Easing and Outdoor Access

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We are now in Phase 2 with more freedoms and best of all, the ability to travel further for leisure activities.  In using the new freedom remember that the Coronavirus is still active and you will need to take precautions.  Whilst local shops may be open, other facilities such as toilets, cafes, pubs, restaurants and cafes are still restricted.  Check before you go to see what is available at or near your destination.

Social distancing is still critical so keep up to date with the latest requirements in the Scottish Government guidance document Coronavirus (COVID-19): staying at home and away from others (physical distancing)  In all cases, you must follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code on your outdoor journey.

Appeal for New Directors

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We are recruiting new Directors from our membership to play key roles in steering the strategic direction and the ongoing governance of the organisation whilst ensuring members' interests are fully considered in everything we do.

We seek nominations of, or applications from, members who have skills in practical access issues, in strategic management, in public relations and external communication and in law, government or human resource management. This sounds a long list, but if you have, or know of a member who has, any of these skills as well as a determination to uphold public access we'd love to hear from you.

We've made some exciting changes over the last couple of years ·to prepare ScotWays for the future. We need a Board with a range of skills and experience to continue to move us forward. We aim for diverse Board membership and geographical location is no barrier to playing a valuable role. 

We look forward to hearing from you. Please take. a look at our Board recruitment pack on our downloads page.

ScotWays Small Grants Scheme 31 Aug 2020 Deadline

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The ScotWays small grants scheme aims to help organisations fund a project up to 50% of the total budget for the project.

The scheme will award grants of between £500 and £1,500. It is hoped that this might enable organisations to achieve the completion of a community-based/access-related project which might not otherwise be able to proceed.

Applicant organisations should be members of ScotWays.

The next submission date for applications is 31st August 2020, and a decision on any applications received by that date will be made by mid to end of October 2020.

For further details please visit our downloads page where you’ll find an explanatory letter and the application form.