Land Reform Act


The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 deals with the provision of increased access “sufficient for the purpose of giving the public reasonable access throughout their area” through the provision of a Core Path Network.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code gives detailed guidance on your responsibilities when exercising access rights and if you are managing land and water.

Note that The Act sets out where and when access rights apply; the Code defines how access rights should be exercised.


Quick guide to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

The Land Reform ( Scotland) Act 2003 establishes a statutory right of responsible access to land and inland waters for:

  • outdoor recreation
  • crossing land
  • some educational and commercial purposes

The three key principles for responsible access apply to both the public and land managers:

  • Respect the interests of other people: Be considerate, respect privacy and livelihoods, and the needs of those enjoying the outdoors
  • Care for the Environment: Look after the places you visit and enjoy. Care for wildlife and historic sites
  • Take responsibility for your own actions: The outdoors cannot be made risk-free for people exercising access rights; land managers should act with care for people’s safety

More information on the Act and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code can be found on SNH's website, and at the Scottish Outdoor Access Code website.