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Visit the Countryside

Why not take a walk in the countryside to teach either yourself or your children more about the countryside and the farmers who provide our food?

The countryside is also a great place for getting exercise and fresh air as well as for having fun.

You are welcome to visit most rural areas in Scotland, but please do bear in mind the following information before you jump in the car to visit the countryside.

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 gives everyone a statutory right of access to most land and inland water in Scotland for recreation, education, some commercial uses and going from place to place, provided they act responsibly.

These rights and responsibilities are fully explained in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (the Code). The rights apply to all non-motorised (except disability vehicles) forms of transport, including walking, horse-riding, cycling and canoeing.

The Code is based on 3 key principles, which equally apply to the public and to land managers. They are:

• Respect the interests of other people
• Care for the environment
• Take responsibility for your own actions

For the public, this is all about respecting the privacy, safety and livelihoods of those living and working in the outdoors; looking after the places they enjoy and visit; leaving the land and water as they find it; and acting with care at all times for their own safety and that of others.

If you have a dog, please ensure that it is kept under proper control and remember the following 9 points:

• Don’t take your dog into fields where there are lambs, calves or other young animals
• Don’t take your dog into fields of vegetables or fruit unless you are on a clear path or right of way and keep your dog to the path
• Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals
• If you go into a field of farm animals, keep as far as possible from the animals and keep your dog on a short lead or under close control
• If cattle react aggressively and move towards you, keep calm, let the dog go and take the shortest, safest route out of the field
• During the bird breeding season (usually April-July), keep your dog under close control or on a short lead in areas such as moorland, forests, grassland, loch shores and the seashore
• Pick up and remove your dog’s faeces if it fouls in a public open place or where there is a risk to farming interests
• Some reservoirs or streams are used for public water supply. If there are intake nearby, keep your dog out of the water
• In recreation area and other public places, avoid causing concern to others by keeping your dog under close control

For full details, visit www.outdooraccess-scotland.com

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