Our Guide to the 'Right to Roam' in Scotland
But it does have something called "The Right to Roam"...
What is "The Right to Roam"?
Under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, gives everyone the right of responsible, non-motorised access to virtually all land and inland water in Scotland.
Another key part of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act was the establishment of a new type of path in Scotland - and the legal framework to control and look after it. Local authorities and the National Parks were duty-bound to identify pathways to become part of this new network, and these have been published on their website.
This then, is the new Core Paths network.
A Core Path can be anything - a trod path through long grass, a Public Right of Way, farm or forestry track, an old drove road, a minor road, or the footway beside a major road... basically anywhere there is a route on the ground.
How to find Core Paths
When you are out and about, Core Paths are increasingly signposted with green finger signposts, similar to the ones will are very familiar in England and Wales.
You can find all of the Core Paths on one map on the Scottish Natural Heritage's website here - along with helpful links to the Core Paths section of every Scottish Local Authority's website, so you can do more local research there.
At present, the Core Path network isn't shown on Ordnance Survey (OS) maps in Scotland. This is in line with Scottish Rights of Way, which historically have never been printed on OS maps.
Clearly, having the Core Paths on OS maps would increase their visiblity and encourage more people to venture out on them - but there has been some confusion as to whether the Core Paths are due to be included on "the next edition", as some local authorities' websites claim... So Andrew contacted the OS to find out...
So, it will clearly be soon time before the Core Maps are added to Ordnance Survey maps.
Ramblers Scotland have a campaign running to change this, so if you'd like to see Core Paths added to the Ordnance Surveys' Explorer and Landranger maps in Soctland, then you might like to sign their petition.
Harvey Maps say they do show the Core Paths on their Scottish maps, but they don't distinguish between them and ordinary paths.
Problems in using a Core Path
Local authorities and National Paths have powers to maintain, promote and keep Core Paths free from obstruction, but there is no legal duty to do so - unlike in Public Rights of Way in England and Wales. Clearly, however, there is an expectation that such paths are kept open as a priority.
If you have a problem using a Core Path because of an obstruction, poor maintenance or a misleading sign, you could help others using the path after you by reporting it to:
the National Park Authority if it's in a national park
the local authority for land outside national parks -