Land Reform – The Draft Bill – Access Legislation and the draft Scottish Outdoor Access Code

20th June 2001

A number of the key technical issues and mechanisms in the Bill lead to an unbalanced approach and depart, significantly, from the consensus proposals worked out through long negotiation by the Access Forum, and substantially endorsed by Scottish Natural Heritage. The Bill, as it stands, with its proposals for ad hoc suspension of the right of access by landowners and for criminal sanctions, may substantially undermine even the established access currently enjoyed by visitors to the countryside. Furthermore, it could reduce future opportunities for enjoying the outdoors rather than enhancing these and extending them to a wider public.

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