Rights of way in Scotland

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Scotways sign for a "Public Footpath"

In Scotland, a right of way is a route over which the public has been able to pass unhindered for at least 20 years.[1] The route must link two "public places", such as villages, churches or roads. Unlike in England and Wales there is no obligation on Scottish local authorities to signpost or mark a right of way. However the charity Scotways, formed in 1845 to protect rights of way, records and signs the routes.

Scotways sign for a "Public Path"

There is no legal distinction between footpaths and bridleways in Scotland, though it is generally accepted that cyclists and horseriders may follow rights of way with suitable surfaces.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 established a general presumption of access to all land in Scotland, making the existence of rights of way less important in terms of access to land in Scotland. Certain categories of land are excluded from this presumption of open access such as railway land, airfields and private gardens.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rights of way in Scotland Scottish Natural Heritage

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