Staying Safe

Access in Scotland : Please remember, access legislation in Scotland is very different to legislation in England & Wales.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code came into effect in February 2005. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act establishes a statutory right of responsible access to land and inland waters for outdoor recreation, crossing land, and some educational and commercial purposes. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code gives detailed guidance on your responsibilities when exercising access rights and if you are managing land and water. The Act sets out where and when access rights apply. The Code defines how access rights should be exercised responsibly.
For a full copy of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and detailed information on safely using the countryside go to .

Safety and Public Access in Scotland

The Health and Safety Executive have published an Agriculture Information Sheet No. 17S entitled “Cattle and public access in Scotland”. It contains essentail information for land managers and users regarding public saftey and cattle.

Please download a copy of it here: Cattle and public access in Scotland, HSE Information Sheet

Wildlife, Livestock and Dogs

Much of the route passes through livestock farming areas. Please remember that a farmer’s livelihood may depend on the rearing and sale of livestock and always act accordingly.

Dogs can be a particular concern for farmers during lambing time (March – May) and when cows have young calves with them. This occurs mainly during the spring and autumn months however some farms do calf all year round. As mentioned earlier on this page, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code provides advice and legislation on access to the countryside, farm livestock saftey advice and control of dogs. Please use the links on this site to see the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Dogs should not be taken into fields were there are young livestock. This includes all young livestock such as lambs, calves and foals. In more open countryside, where lambs are present, keep your dog on a lead (or under close control) and keep a distance from livestock. Disturbance at this time can separate young livestock from their mothers, leaving them cold, hungry and exposed to predators. Dogs should also not be taken into fields of cattle when they have calves. The cows see a dog as a threat and may attack it and you. Go into a neighbouring field or onto adjacent land, whenever possible. Even without a dog cows with calves can still react aggressively to your presence and young cattle can be inquisitive and approach or follow you.

Usually without a dog, if you walk quietly through livestock areas and keep a safe distance from stock and watching them carefully, you should experience little or no difficulty when accessing the countryside. During the bird breeding season (April – June) please keep your dog under close control or on a short lead in ground nesting areas. These include areas such as moorland, forests, grassland, loch shores and the seashore. If you are unsure or require any further information please contact one of our rangers for guidance. They are very experienced and will be happy to advise you.