Countryside Access Code

Land uses in Aberdeenshire's countryside include farming, forestry, field sports and conservation, providing a rich and fascinating mix of natural and cultural landscapes to explore. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code explains the responsibilities of the public and of land managers in enabling all to benefit from access without harm to their own enjoyment or to the livelihoods of those who live and work on the land.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code was approved by Scottish Ministers in 2005. It provides basic guidelines for responsible behaviour in the countryside and supports the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

The latest information is available on the Outdoor Access Scotland website and the NatureScot website.

View guidance leaflets on responsible outdoor access.

Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

Statutory Public Access Rights

Part 1 of the Act establishes statutory public access rights to land (including inland waters and foreshore) for recreational and other purposes, this right to be exercised responsibly.

Exceptions from the Rights

Section 6 of the Act specifies exceptions from the rights, in the interests of privacy and certain land use requirements.

The duties of local authorities under the Act will include:

  • setting up one or more Local Access Forums
  • drawing up a Core Paths Plan
  • upholding public access rights
  • publicising (with NatureScot) the Scottish Outdoor Access Code