News

Latest news stories from ScotWays.

Access Issues at Cairnbank Road, Penicuik

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ScotWays has been contacted by many people concerned by the recent installation of a fence and locked gate at Cairnbank Road. Access is presently blocked along the route which links Cairnbank Road to the network of paths in the Penicuik House estate. Although this route does not appear to meet the criteria to be a public right of way and is not designated by Midlothian Council as a core path, it is promoted as a local walk and is clearly popular given the volume of complaints we have received. We consider that access rights under the terms of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 apply. Such access must be exercised responsibly, which includes not interfering with occupants' reasonable privacy.

Midlothian Council has power under the above Act to do something about the removal of the blockage.  As such, we encourage anyone affected by this issue to contact the Council’s Access Officer, John Park, to express their concern - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The latest information we have received is that the Council has written to the owners of the fence requesting its removal, and they are also contacting the owner of the gate at the other end of the route to ask for the signage which does not comply with the Land Reform legislation to be removed. As at least one of the owners is contesting the right to responsible access on grounds of privacy, this will have to be considered by the Council’s lawyers. As a result, the Council does not expect the matter to be resolved quickly, but in view of the amount of correspondence received, they are actively working on this case.

Crichton-Borthwick Right of Way - Update

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We’d like to update our members on the current situation regarding the Borders Railway and Crichton-Borthwick Right of Way.

There had been issues resulting from the construction of the Borders Railway regarding a missing metal kissing gate for walkers. The Crichton to Borthwick Right of Way was closed temporarily under the Waverley Act 2005. The necessary gates and fencing have now been completed, and the closure has been lifted.

The deer fence can now be crossed by a stile, funded by Midlothian Council as the quickest way to resolve the problem. Waymarking the entire route will be completed on Monday 23 May. A guide to the amended route will be posted on the website soon thereafter. Note that there is a muddy section west of the railway line.

John Pope, one of our directors, has kindly produced notes on the description of the route with guidelines for use.

ScotWays at Easter

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The ScotWays office will be closed on Friday 25th March 2015 and reopen on Tuesday 29th March 2015.

General rights of way and access enquiries: We are currently receiving a large number of enquiries, and we are working hard to answer as many as possible before the Easter break. Unfortunately, we will not manage to respond to everyone, in which case we apologise for the delay in our response. If you are concerned not to have heard from us, please do feel free to drop us a reminder via post or email and we will be in touch once the office has re-opened

Rights of way searches for solicitors, land managers and developers: We are currently just meeting our target of responding to all rights of way search requests within 5 working days of receiving them in our office, unless another deadline has been agreed. As our office will be closed over Easter, search requests received after Thursday 17th March may not be completed until after the holiday. If your search request is urgent, please contact us to discuss when we will be able to complete it.

 

Paths For All - Community Paths Grants

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Paths For All have announced a funding opportunity for local community paths, as follows:

 

“We are inviting community groups who would like to improve their local community paths to apply for a Community Paths Grant.

We are offering individual grants of up to £1500 to help community groups improve, maintain and promote their local community paths.

 

Not only can we offer financial help in the way of a grant but we have a dedicated team to give support and technical help throughout all steps of the process of your project. For inspiration take a look at some of the projects previous applicants have been involved with in our Making Tracks case studies.

Find out more details about our grant fund here.

 

If you are not yet at the stage of applying for a Community Paths grant,  but want to discuss an idea then please get in touch with our team of experts:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or  01259 218 888.

In addition, we are also offering training courses to help you to learn the essential skills to improve maintain and promote your local paths - you can find details of our courses here. Watch out for our new programme of training courses coming soon.

We look forward to working with you on making Scotland a better place for everyday walking.

From the Paths for All Active Environments Team”

 

Christmas and New Year at ScotWays

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The ScotWays office will close on Tuesday 22nd December 2015, and re-open on Tuesday 5th January 2016.

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 the office is closed, we will not be processing any more orders until we re-open in the New Year. The good news is that there'll probably then be a sale offer on our remaining Christmas cards!

Rights of way searches for solicitors, land managers and developers: We aim to respond to all formal search requests within 5 working days of receiving them in our office, unless another deadline has been agreed. As our office will be closed for two weeks over Christmas and New Year, search requests received after 15th December may not be completed until after we re-open in the New Year. If your search request is urgent, please contact us before we close for the holidays to discuss when we will be able to complete it. 

Office volunteers: The office will be closed for two weeks over Christmas and the New Year, so please take a well earned break! Very many thanks for all your hard work, we look forward to seeing you in 2016. 


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

Crichton to Borthwick Right of Way - Update

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We’d like to update our members on the current situation regarding the Borders Railway and Crichton-Borthwick Right of Way.

There had been issues resulting from the construction of the Borders Railway regarding a missing metal kissing gate for walkers. The Crichton to Borthwick Right of Way was closed temporarily under the Waverley Act 2005. The necessary gates and fencing have now been completed, and the closure has been lifted.

However, there is still a deer fence blocking the route on the Borthwick side, and there is no easy way to bypass this problem. Midlothian Council are aware of the problem and are in the process of taking action against the landowner. 

We encourage anyone that encounters problems with the route to report these directly to Midlothian Council’s access officer John Park at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (0131 561 5386) - please copy us into any e-mail correspondence via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Similarly, if this a route that you have walked in the past, but are avoiding because you have heard of the difficulties, it could still be helpful to write. If the Council are receiving communications about this route, it may assist them with their course of action.