Renfrewshire Council

Access Legislation in Scotland

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives us all a legal right of responsible access to most land and inland water in Scotland.

You can take access by any means as long as it is not motorised. The only exception to this is that someone may use a vehicle which has been adapted for use by people with disabilities.

Access in Scotland

Whilst you can now access lots of outdoor areas there are still some places where you cannot go including:

  • buildings and other structures
  • the curtilage of properties including farmyards
  • gardens and formal grounds around buildings to provide privacy
  • private gardens in common ownership
  • school grounds
  • land developed or set out as a sports field
  • land in which crops have been sown or are growing - BUT you can access the field margins
  • land where you had to pay for entry before the new law was passed
  • quarries
  • golf tees and greens

Access Rights

Some things you can't do under access rights:

  • hunting, shooting or fishing
  • being on land with a dog which is not under proper control
  • taking things away from the land for commercial purposes or for profit
  • being on land with a motorised vehicle (unless adapted for use by a person with a disability)

Exemption of land from the right of access

Councils can exempt some land from access rights. The main reasons for doing this would be if an event was being held on a piece of land and an entry fee charged, such as an agricultural show. If you think that you may need to close an area of land for an event, please contact us using the details below.