Who We Are

We Are A Charity

Led by our board of volunteer Directors, our small staff team work with volunteers across Scotland from our office in Edinburgh. We have a number of sub-committees to guide our work including Legal and Access, Finance and Risk, Communications and Operations.

What We Do

ScotWays, The Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society, has been working to safeguard rights of way since 1845 and is probably the oldest organisation in the world dedicated to improving countryside access.  We are a voluntary organisation, a registered Scottish charity and a company limited by guarantee.

Our objects are the preservation, defence, restoration and acquisition, for the public benefit, of public rights of access in Scotland including public rights of way, and related amenity. Our Strategic Framework sets out how we plan to do this.

Our work includes:

Clarifying the law

We are the acknowledged experts on Scottish outdoor access law, we support others to uphold the public’s rights of access, we will instigate legal proceedings if necessary and lobby government.

Providing information about access

We publish information about outdoor access law and paths and tracks across Scotland. These include The Law of Access to Land in Scotland , the comprehensive guide to outdoor access law, and Scottish Hill Tracks, a unique resource for walkers, cyclists, riders and runners wishing to explore the network of paths, old roads and rights of way which criss-cross Scotland’s hill country, from the Borders to Caithness.

We deal with a steady stream of enquiries ranging from problems with particular routes to queries about access matters. These come from the public, local and national government, and landowners, both in Scotland and further afield.

We provide a paid search service of the National Catalogue of Rights of Way (CROW) for solicitors, developers, consultants and those people wanting to know whether our records show any rights of way running across a piece of land.

Working with local authorities and negotiating with landowners

Since 1885 we have worked with landowners and local authorities to signpost rights of way and paths across Scotland with our easily recognised green and white signs. We have also improved a number of routes through the provision of bridges , boardwalks and steps.

Working with others

We created and maintain the National Catalogue of Rights of Way (CROW) which records all the rights of way known to us in Scotland, and the Heritage Paths Project  which records the history of paths, routes and trails across Scotland.