Paths for All Community Paths Training Course

Grading your community paths 

Learn about the new path grading system and how you can use it to promote your community paths

Date: 20 October 2017

Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm

Location: SRUC, Oatridge Campus, Ecclesmachan, Broxburn EH52 6NH


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SOAN networking day – The Changing Landscape for Access, June 8th

The access world has changed enormously since the legislation came into effect in February 2005, and this change continues. The Land Reform Act 2003 is no longer new legislation but has bedded in and become an established aspect of Scottish life.  While there are still some problems relating to its implementation, there is a growing body of case law, practice and expertise.  As part of a wider context, however, external challenges are affecting the roles of staff working within access, and meaning that different ways of delivery need to be considered.  This is partly due to an on-going reduction in public funding at all levels, especially when spending on countryside, parks, ranger services and access is often seen as an easy hit within local authorities who have difficult budget choices to make.  Nevertheless, the government’s priorities of improving wellbeing and reducing health and social inequalities rely heavily on enabling more people to enjoy the outdoors and gain all the benefits that brings, which means investment in access management is a crucial foundation for achieving these outcomes.  And then there’s the tumultuous constitutional context across the UK with the potential loss of European funding for community projects and agricultural support.

This event will focus on the current and future challenges faced by the access world, and discuss new directions and different ways of working to help us navigate through the choppy waters ahead.

The usual £50 price per delegate applies. Please see the abbreviated programme below:


9.30-10.00 Registration and coffee

10.00-10.15 Welcome and Setting the Scene

10.15-11.30 Plenary: health check on the outdoor access sector:

  • Scotways’ overview of the sector – challenges and constraints
  • FCS overview of the sector – challenges and constraints
  • The health agenda
  • Access & the active travel agenda
  • Access officers – challenges & constraints

11.30-12.00 Coffee break

12.00-12.15 S14 Sheriff Appeal Court result, key points and lessons learned – Loch Lomond & The Trossachs NPA

12.15-13.00 The future of SOAN

13.00-14.30 Lunch and AGM

14.30-15.35 Group sessions:

  • Training programme for the future – what do you need and in what format?
  • Update on funding landscape
  • Update on the new s.27 local authority guidance
  • Community empowerment

15.35-16.00 Plenary discussion drawing conclusions from the day, closing remarks

Please use the booking form below:


SOAN Networking Event: The Changing Landscape for Access

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BHS Equestrian and Multi Use Access to the Countryside Conference

BHS Conference, 10th November 2016


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Outdoor Access Officer, Aberdeenshire

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Path Grading for Professional Course, 22nd September 2016

Path Grading for Professional Course, 22nd September 2016

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Job vacancy for new post at Scotways

ScotWays is recruiting for a newly created post of Development Officer. With experience of access or a keen interest in the outdoors, the Development Officer will work to strengthen our member and volunteer networks and increase the profile of the Society. The successful candidate will work closely with the volunteer Board and with other staff (3 full time equivalents) and will represent the Society when dealing with a wide variety of stakeholders: Local Authorities, members, volunteers, local access forum reps, land owners and managers and other organisations in the same arena. The scope of the role covers member and volunteer engagement, investigating and resolving access and sign post problems, increasing public awareness, internal feedback systems, handling disputes and identifying and helping to deliver funded projects which develop, enhance or preserve access in Scotland.

The role may be based from home with regular contact with our office in Edinburgh and could be undertaken part time (3 days a week minimum) or full time.

Closing date Monday 8 August 2016 at 9am, interviews in Edinburgh on 24 or 25 August 2016.

For more information please follow the link:

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New Upland Path Management Manual

UPAG have released a new edition of the Upland Path Management manual which provides advice and best practice for everyone involved in upland path management. All sections have been updated, with new chapters considering whether pathwork is the most sustainable solution and Consents and Planning. The link is below:

The old paper copies are now very out of date, so please recycle.

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ORN Conference – October 2016

This year the ORN Conference is being held in Scotland which looks like a topic that will no doubt interest SOAN members: Outdoor recreation and active lifestyles – understanding behavioural change.

The conference will examine how behaviour influences people’s choices in outdoor recreation and active lifestyles. Aimed at practitioners, policy-makers, academics and other stakeholders, delegates will gain insights into models of human behaviour and how to apply behavioural change knowledge to promote outdoor recreation and encourage active lifestyles. Case studies will showcase successful examples of transformational behaviour change and how ‘hard to reach’ communities have been influenced. In particular, delegates will discover how to enable people to make better choices for themselves in terms of outdoor recreation and how to make services more cost-effective and easier for citizens to use.

Speakers include Professor Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde and former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and Stephen Jenkinson, Access and Countryside Management Ltd.

The conference includes an evening visit to The Enchanted Forest: a multi-award winning outdoor unique experience that explores the autumnal setting of nearby Faskally Wood through dramatic lighting and an original music score. There is also a guided walking tour in nearby Dunkeld, visiting and learning about several extraordinary Heritage Trees in Perthshire ‘Big Tree Country’.

To book you should visit


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Building Capacity; doing more with what we have…

Building Capacity; doing more with what we have…

Thursday 9th  June
Albert Halls, Lesser Hall, Stirling

In a time when staff resources are being stretched to their limit and revenue funding is being cut, members have asked for an event which addresses these concerns and shares success stories.

At our next event we aim to share with you real examples from organisations who have found mechanisms to help them continue to deliver in these austere times.  Examples Include: developing volunteer capacity; working more closely with landowners; providing internships; linking into criminal justice services and corporate work parties.

Please save the date and come and join us to hear how colleagues are responding to changing times and to share your successes too.

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Scottish Natural Heritage Launch new Guidance

The NEW guidance  is aimed at land managers who are experiencing dog-related access issues, and at access officers and others who may also have a role in helping to address these concerns. The overall aim is to support both responsible access by dog walkers and responsible management by landowners.


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