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Scottish Outdoor Access Code



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 21st 04, 01:58 PM
druidh
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Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Proposed code is published today. You can read it at
www.snh.org.uk/soac. For those NOT in Scotland - read it and weep!


druidh
  #2  
Old January 21st 04, 02:15 PM
Tim Downie
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Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code

druidh wrote:
Proposed code is published today. You can read it at
www.snh.org.uk/soac. For those NOT in Scotland - read it and weep!


When it comes to public rights of way I have to say that I think the
situation in Scotland is miserable. Only 1% are declared legal by the
courts and the rest are in a legal limbo.

Whilst a general presumed right of access might seem better, I'd love to see
all rights of ways in Scotland validated by the courts and recorded by the
OS on scottish maps.

Tim

--
Remove the obvious to reply by email.

  #3  
Old January 21st 04, 04:17 PM
Bernard Hill
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Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code

In article , Tim Downie
writes
druidh wrote:
Proposed code is published today. You can read it at
www.snh.org.uk/soac. For those NOT in Scotland - read it and weep!


When it comes to public rights of way I have to say that I think the
situation in Scotland is miserable. Only 1% are declared legal by the
courts and the rest are in a legal limbo.

Whilst a general presumed right of access might seem better, I'd love to see
all rights of ways in Scotland validated by the courts and recorded by the
OS on scottish maps.


Why?


Bernard Hill
Selkirk, Scotland

  #4  
Old January 21st 04, 06:15 PM
Duncan Gray
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Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code

"Tim Downie" wrote in message
...
druidh wrote:
Proposed code is published today. You can read it at
www.snh.org.uk/soac. For those NOT in Scotland - read it and weep!


When it comes to public rights of way I have to say that I think the
situation in Scotland is miserable. Only 1% are declared legal by the
courts and the rest are in a legal limbo.

Whilst a general presumed right of access might seem better, I'd love to

see
all rights of ways in Scotland validated by the courts and recorded by the
OS on scottish maps.


The version of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code published today represents
the final stage of the process to enshrine the right of access to almost all
land in Scotland. This is considerably better than having these rights
restricted to narrow rights of way which, in a Scottish context are almost
pointless.

For anyone who hasn't been paying attention, the original proposals for the
new law were published by the Scottish Executive during the momentous last
week of February 2001. (I won't bring back the pain by reminding you all
what else was momentous about that and the following weeks.) The original
proposals were pretty bad, and a huge response from the public to the
consultation, allied to the GOMLs shooting themselves in the foot, led to a
much improved draft which was finally passed into law by parliament, almost
a year ago today.

The final stage before the access rights contained in the bill come into
force is tthe formulation of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code by SNH. The
new version will be submitted to the Scottish Executive who can accept,
reject or amend it, following which it will be debated in parliament and
finally passed.

If everything goes well, the new law could finally be in force by this
summer.

(Did anyone else notice that this week the GOMLs union, the Scottish
Landowners' Federation, decided to rename itself the pithy "Scottish Rural P
roperty and Business Association Ltd". One member in favour of the change
was Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington who is quoted as saying "A long name has
never troubled me." )

--
Duncan Gray

homepage - www.duncolm.co.uk
also www.mountaineering-scotland.org.uk
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland


  #5  
Old January 21st 04, 08:44 PM
KRO
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Posts: n/a
Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code


"Duncan Gray" wrote in message
The version of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code published today

represents
the final stage of the process to enshrine the right of access to almost

all
land in Scotland. This is considerably better than having these rights
restricted to narrow rights of way which, in a Scottish context are almost
pointless.


Duncan, I've read your post since posting my own reply (the negative one!)
can you explain what the original problem was that required the Access
Code in the first place? I was under the impression that, under the Law,
access was freely available? The problems I've encountered have all been
about vehicle access which I've just accepted as I can (semi) understand
that point. But I've not had anyone say, "You can't go there". I'm not
referring to the foot-and-mouth situation as that was unique. The code is
not published yet, so what problems can be expected right now in Scotland
regarding access? A genuine question as I'm not sure I've got the facts of
this debate.

KRO


  #6  
Old January 21st 04, 09:12 PM
Phil Cook
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Posts: n/a
Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code

On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 20:44:48 +0000 (UTC), KRO wrote:

"Duncan Gray" wrote in message
The version of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code published today

represents
the final stage of the process to enshrine the right of access to almost

all
land in Scotland. This is considerably better than having these rights
restricted to narrow rights of way which, in a Scottish context are almost
pointless.


Duncan, I've read your post since posting my own reply (the negative one!)
can you explain what the original problem was that required the Access
Code in the first place? I was under the impression that, under the Law,
access was freely available? The problems I've encountered have all been
about vehicle access which I've just accepted as I can (semi) understand
that point. But I've not had anyone say, "You can't go there". I'm not
referring to the foot-and-mouth situation as that was unique. The code is
not published yet, so what problems can be expected right now in Scotland
regarding access? A genuine question as I'm not sure I've got the facts of
this debate.


AIUI access was freely available by common consent and understanding, which
isn't universal. The new law (of which the access code is part) codifies this
freedom of access and makes it available as of right. How this will affect the
Glen Lyon situation, to quote one notable GOML problem, we shall have to see.
--
Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
  #7  
Old January 21st 04, 10:25 PM
druidh
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code


"KRO" wrote in message
...

"Duncan Gray" wrote in message
The version of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code published today

represents
the final stage of the process to enshrine the right of access to almost

all
land in Scotland. This is considerably better than having these rights
restricted to narrow rights of way which, in a Scottish context are

almost
pointless.


Duncan, I've read your post since posting my own reply (the negative one!)
can you explain what the original problem was that required the Access
Code in the first place? I was under the impression that, under the Law,
access was freely available? The problems I've encountered have all been
about vehicle access which I've just accepted as I can (semi) understand
that point. But I've not had anyone say, "You can't go there". I'm not
referring to the foot-and-mouth situation as that was unique. The code is
not published yet, so what problems can be expected right now in Scotland
regarding access? A genuine question as I'm not sure I've got the facts of
this debate.


I'm afraid that existing Law die NOT make access freely available - this has
been argued about for years and was never resolved even during the creation
of the Act. It's currently far too easy for landowners / managers to
restrict access when it suited them. This Act will create access rights in
Scotland which will be amongst the best in Europe. It goes without saying
that this change would never have been possible without devolution. Can you
imagine the House of the Dead (sorry Lords) letting this one through?

druidh


  #8  
Old January 22nd 04, 08:47 PM
Bernie Hughes
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code

"druidh" wrote in message
...

snip
This Act will create access rights in
Scotland which will be amongst the best in Europe. It goes without saying
that this change would never have been possible without devolution.


Correct.
--

Bernie
Get back on the wagon to reply..


  #9  
Old January 24th 04, 12:21 PM
KRO
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code


"druidh" wrote in message
I'm afraid that existing Law die NOT make access freely available - this

has
been argued about for years and was never resolved even during the

creation
of the Act. It's currently far too easy for landowners / managers to
restrict access when it suited them. This Act will create access rights in
Scotland which will be amongst the best in Europe. It goes without saying
that this change would never have been possible without devolution. Can

you
imagine the House of the Dead (sorry Lords) letting this one through?

druidh

Sorry druidh, I keep hearing that access could be curtailed and that this is
necessary, but again I say, it hasn't happened to me. I also suspect that
under existing laws it's not that simple to deny access. I could be wrong
but nothing like a healthy debate! At least I have established that there is
no criminal act of trespass in Scotland (where I walk 99.99% of the time)
so next question is, if it *can* be a civil "illegality" can landowners
enforce
that civil crime as it's taking place? Or does their rights extend merely to
recording and report the said offence. M'lud.

I've deleted references to Holyrood, I may pay to keep those leeches in
Mondeos and have a legitimate grievance, but I did vote for it and don't
wish to cause offence...

KRO


  #10  
Old January 21st 04, 10:45 PM
Duncan Gray
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Scottish Outdoor Access Code

"KRO" wrote in message
...

"Duncan Gray" wrote in message
The version of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code published today

represents
the final stage of the process to enshrine the right of access to almost

all
land in Scotland. This is considerably better than having these rights
restricted to narrow rights of way which, in a Scottish context are

almost
pointless.


Duncan, I've read your post since posting my own reply (the negative one!)
can you explain what the original problem was that required the Access
Code in the first place? I was under the impression that, under the Law,
access was freely available? The problems I've encountered have all been
about vehicle access which I've just accepted as I can (semi) understand
that point. But I've not had anyone say, "You can't go there". I'm not
referring to the foot-and-mouth situation as that was unique. The code is
not published yet, so what problems can be expected right now in Scotland
regarding access? A genuine question as I'm not sure I've got the facts of
this debate.


You're right in that access has largely been problem free in Scotland, and
that situation remains today. There are places where access has been a
problem, the Riddell family of Glen Lyon represent an obvious example, there
are plenty more if you read through the pages of Angry Corrie.

In any case, the new Act isn't just about covering the access that you and I
enjoy, going onto wild land and mountains. It's intended to provide for the
whole population, to secure access for people in the urban fringe and
lowlands.

The foot and mouth situation was actually more relevent than you might think
to how the new law panned out.

As the f&m situation developed the government (in Scotland) saw the damage
that was being done to the tourism industry and took action to encourage
reopening of access in areas which were remote from the outbreak. Ministers
became exasperated as many landowners ignored this and fought to keep their
land "closed". The backlash which followed saw a major change from the
original draft of the Land Reform Bill, which was dreadful and held
advantages for the landowners, to what we ended up with, not perfect, but
pretty good.

Previously, no one actually knew what the law of trespass in Scotland was. I
was following the debates in the Parliamentary Committees, during the
progress of the Land Reform Act, and it was quite amusing to see the members
struggling to get a grasp of what what the current position is/was. Even the
Law Society input was rejected by the committee as nonsense. They appeared
to have resorted to stating a position based on conveyencing law.
Alan Blackshaw's article from 2000 gives quite a good background.
http://www.mountaineering-scotland.o...accesslaw.html

When the new Act finally comes into force, hopefully later this year, I feel
we will be better off in two ways.

1. The legal position of people taking recreational access in the
countryside will be clearly stated in law. Yes, the SOAC will contain a lot
of woolly definitions, but you can't legislate for every situation which
will develop. The whole thing is based on "you have the right of access
provided you act responsibly". . It can be amended as time goes on, to react
to any problems which come up in the future, while the original Act remains
unchanged. Hopefully without lawyers charging ridiculous fees in the
interim.

2. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code is a guide to responsible behaviour. The
coming phase will see great efforts made to publicise it and educate the
populus on how to take a walk responsibly. There will be easy to read
summaries and such. Part of the government's intention is to get more people
to take some healthy exercise. With any luck most of them will keep to the
urban fringe and the planned "core path network" rather than annoy me by
appearing en masse on top of the Cobbler, or trying to find their way off
the top of Ben Nevis.

--
Duncan Gray

homepage - www.duncolm.co.uk
also www.mountaineering-scotland.org.uk
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland


 




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