Latest news stories from ScotWays.

Lammermuirs Project - new map published!

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ScotWays is pleased to announce that the first stage of its Lammermuirs project has been completed with the publication of its new Lammermuirs map leaflet. The new map includes not only the Scottish Hill Tracks routes across the Lammermuirs, which were the focus of the previous version, but also shorter and circular routes onto and around the hills to appeal to a wider audience interested in enjoying the area but who lack the time, inclination or ability to tackle a longer or linear journey. Pleasingly, the larger size of the new map has allowed the addition of many more historic features, including old routes promoted by our Heritage Paths project. The Ordnance Survey's trig pillars are also now marked in honour of their 80th birthday year. We hope that our new map will encourage exploration of this special landscape, which is generally under-appreciated, but is well-loved by those who have succumbed to its charms.

Paper copies of the new map are being distributed around East Lothian and the Scottish Borders, so should be available locally. ScotWays members will receive a copy with their autumn mailing. As with all our free leaflets, we'll be pleased to post the Lammermuirs map out on receipt of an SAE. The project has also produced a special online version, downloadable here. It is intended that the online version will also be available from the Council websites. If anyone else would like to help with either paper or digital distribution, we will be very pleased to hear from you!

The Lammermuirs project has also aimed to improve the signposting of routes, so ScotWays volunteers have been auditing, repairing and replacing existing signs and noting potential locations for new signage. Although the resultant signage repair and negotiation regarding new signs is underway, signposting is an ongoing part of ScotWays work, so updates and suggestions will continue to be very welcome.

The leaflet was funded by ScotWays, East Lothian Council, Scottish Borders Council and Gifford Community Council. The project was also supported by the Lammermuirs Moorland Group and Lammermuir Community Council. Many thanks to all the land owners and land managers who have contributed their time and energy – the support of those living and working in the Lammermuirs is especially appreciated. Last, but not least, thankyou to the many volunteers who contributed to the project – surveying routes and auditing signposts, sharing photos and simply letting us know their favourite spots in these lovely hills.

Job Opportunity - Development Officer

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ScotWays is recruiting for a newly created post of Development Officer. With experience of access or a keen interest in the outdoors, the Development Officer will work to strengthen our member and volunteer networks and increase the profile of the Society. The successful candidate will work closely with the volunteer Board and with other staff (3 full time equivalents) and will represent the Society when dealing with a wide variety of stakeholders: Local Authorities, members, volunteers, local access forum reps, land owners and managers and other organisations in the same arena. The scope of the role covers member and volunteer engagement, investigating and resolving access and sign post problems, increasing public awareness, internal feedback systems, handling disputes and identifying and helping to deliver funded projects which develop, enhance or preserve access in Scotland. 

The role may be based from home with regular contact with our office in Edinburgh and could be undertaken part time (3 days a week minimum) or full time. 

For a full job description, person specification and details of how to apply click on these text links.

Closing date Monday 8 August 2016 at 9am, interviews in Edinburgh on 24 or 25 August 2016.

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”