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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SOAN and BHS Networking Event: A Bit of Give and Take – balancing interests and creating harmony on shared-use routes

Date:              3 March 2016

Time:             1000 – 1600

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

Cost:               £40 incl. lunch and refreshments

SOAN have teamed up with British Horse Society to bring you a full programme looking at issues and ideas for resolving the ongoing shared use debate.

The morning will kick off with an interactive session led by Vyv Wood-Gee looking at some of the legal nitty-gritty and what works and doesn’t work in relation to managing shared use.  This will be followed by a session led by Graeme McLean of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland on promoting responsible mountain-biking.

BHS will be inviting your comments on the draft of their new “Horse Sense” leaflet encouraging riders and land managers to consider the others’ perspective in relation to access rights and responsibilities, and opening up discussion on specifications, structures and surfaces which work for everyone.

The afternoon will focus on positive management of shared use through a series of short case studies from local access managers, followed by discussion and an invitation to share your own ideas and experiences of how to avoid conflict.  The final session will be looking at the role of signage in balancing interests and creating harmony on shared use routes, with an opportunity to influence the content of new shared use signage guidance using your own experiences (both good and bad).

The day holds a packed programme and we look forward to seeing you on 3 March. Please book before 26 February to avoid disappointment.




09.30               Registration; tea/coffee and scones!

10.00               Welcome and Introduction to the Day


10.15               To Share or to Segregate

Interactive group session, led by Vyv Wood-Gee, exploring the legal nitty-gritty of shared use, what works and what doesn’t in encouraging and discouraging different types of use, and where and when segregated use and restrictive barriers are appropriate.


11.00               Do the Ride Thing

Graeme McLean of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland will tell us about the project he’s been working on to promote responsible mountain-biking. He’s also keen to get our feedback on new summary guidance for mountain bikers.

11.30               Tea/coffee

11.45               Horse Sense – see it from my perspective

Review of BHS’ new draft leaflet on riders’ and land managers’ access rights and responsibilities, encouraging both to consider the others’ perspective.  Presentation and discussion on the practicalities of path specifications, structures and surfaces that work for everyone

12.30               Lunch

13.30               Managing shared use and avoiding conflict

A series of short cases studies from local access managers demonstrating different techniques to balance user, conservation and land management interests, followed by an open invitation to offer your ideas and experiences of how to avoid conflict between different types of user, and between users and land managers.

14.45               Signage for shared use

What role does signage have to play in balancing interests and creating harmony on shared use routes?  Good and bad examples; discussion and feedback on draft guidance.

15.30               Issues surgery; plenary discussion; summing-up

Open discussion and advice-sharing on shared use, including opportunity to raise specific issues, or pursue some of those raised earlier in the day.

16.00               Close


The day holds a packed programme and we look forward to seeing you on 3 March. Please book through the form below before 26 February to avoid disappointment.

SOAN and BHS Networking Event: A Bit of Give and Take – balancing interests and creating harmony on shared-use routes

3 March 2016 1000 – 1600 Location: SRUC Oatridge Campus, Ecclesmachan, Broxburn, West Lothian, EH52 6NH £40 per person (inc lunch)

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December Networking event : The When, How and by Whom in resolving the Path Maintenance Burden, Thursday 3rd December, Drymen

SOAN is partnering with SATIN to bring you a series of workshops based around Maintenance.

Maintenance as we know is a topic which is continuing to be at the forefront of our discussions and these workshops will begin to explore how to combat the When, How and by Whom questions that you have about the future maintenance of our networks. To enhance our learning a site visit will take place around the recently completed path network in and around Drymen.  This will review the recently completed Ultitrec path and discuss how the future path network maintenance could be reduced through the design process.

The second theme of the workshops is permitting a review of SATIN and it’s website and the update of the Countryside Access Design Guide (CADG) and what we require as a group of practitioners to assist us in delivering an improved access network – these sessions will be led by Meriel Young.

The final session of the day will look at the outputs of the workshops to allow the identification of how best maintenance and the improvement to existing documentation and policies can be enhanced at a national level.

The event is charged at the usual £40 and lunch is provided.

Use the booking form below to avoid disappointment!

SOAN & SATIN Networking Event: The When, How and by Whom in resolving the Path Maintenance Burden

Thursday 3rd December 2015, 10.00-16.00, The Winnock Hotel, Drymen
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Commercial Dog Walking


Hello there


While you may have been informed about this from elsewhere, your help was so valuable to this project that I wanted to be certain you directly got a copy of the just published final reports on the Commercial Dog Walker (CDW) workshops and research.


Quite apart from the outcomes for Scotland, there’s worldwide interest in what’s been done, as the both the survey data and this approach in general have not been attempted before in other countries. So we can all for sure be proud of showing innovation by working together in Scotland to reduce conflict for all concerned.


Thank you to SNH for funding this opportunity to be innovative, and to KC/SKC and Your Dog magazine for also supporting and endorsing it to help add credibility and avoid suspicion of the motives.


Please do feel free to circulate these widely to get the most benefit from them.


While I’m not aware of any further planned SNH actions on the issue of CDW, now that the reports have been formally published I will be taking the findings forward in my ongoing work as access advisor to the Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club, as they are keen that this work continues, to result in improvements on the ground.


As a first stage, I’m now working on a national Code of Practice (COP)  for CDW which will set out what responsible, professional dog walking looks like; this will address access taking issues as well as welfare issues for the dogs (such as how they are transported) and relationships with CDW clients.


In September/October 2015 we’ll be sending out a questionnaire to get the views of access and land managers on CDW issues, to complement the data we now have from the CDW as a result of the workshops.


If you or any partners or colleagues (in Scotland or across the UK) would like to contribute views and experiences in confidence to that process via an on-line questionnaire, please email me at: to indicate your interest. Feel free to forward this email accordingly.


Once the COP is produced, this will then be used to underpin the KC’s training and accreditation scheme for CDW. The KC/SKC are also keen this is used to support access authorities and land managers to show when a fair and balanced approach is being taken that has the support of the canine community.


You may also recall that participant information was collected at each workshop, giving local data on CDW activity, and opt-ins to be contacted again by local councils. While I’m not in a position to release that myself for contractual reasons, these data have been cleaned and anonymised as required and provided to SNH. I suggest you contact Theresa Kewell for any more information on that data:


Please do let me know of any experiences you have with CDW related work, in confidence if need be, so we can further refine best practice to reduce conflict for all concerned.


Once again, thank you so much for your help with this project. This really could not have been done without you.


Best wishes




Stephen JenkinsonAccess and Countryside Management CurlewsDeernessOrkneyKW17 2QJ t: 01856 898098m: 07973 721685e: Guidance on creating positive opportunities to engage with commercial dog walkers Stephen Jenkinson 2015Commercial Dog Walkers in the Outdoors_ Attitudes, Engagement and Opportunities _Stephen Jenkinson

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3rd Nature and Sport Euro’meet

Why Come to the “Euro’meet”

This great conference is a must for those responsible for outdoor and general sports development in Europe who are looking for innovative ways to get people and communities more active especially through the use of the outdoors.

Outdoor sports are growing in popularity all across Europe and can make a real difference to individual’s health and especially mental well-being, can create opportunities for employment and have had a long and very positive association with education and youth services. The Euro’meet will not only look at how such benefits are being optimised but will also provide insight into how these can be embedded into European and National Sports Policies.

If you are local and regional authority staff responsible for recreation and/or tourism, a university researcher or academic, or from a national federation or governing body of sport, or an outdoor business owner or manager then this conference is for you. The 3 day event will showcase best practice from across Europe and provide insights, toolkits and practical information on the projects and schemes that have worked well to develop opportunities for participation in outdoor sports or how economic benefits from outdoor sports have been identified and realised. The event will also look at the realistic challenges that need to be managed to develop outdoor sports and practical workshops and site visits will provide great opportunities for delegates to see the opportunities and issues that are being tackled around the Mournes, as well as providing excellent informal networking opportunities.

The Mourne Mountains is a very beautiful yet compact area of upland moorland, forest and coastline. There is access to mountains, forests, rivers and the sea all within a half hour radius of travel time and so this conference provides a really unique opportunity to explore a number of different facets of outdoor sport development. Balancing social, community, environmental and economic issues will be a key topic for discussion throughout the 3 days.

Be part of this really exciting event by booking at

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New training course from Paths for all

NEW – Path Grading for Professionals Course

Scotland’s Rural College, Oatridge Campus – Wednesday 23rd September & Thursday 12th November.

We are taking bookings for our new training course that will provide path managers with the knowledge and skills to grade paths using the new path grading system.  Book your place now and read more here.

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Presentations from June 2015 Networking Event

presentation by John Whyman, June 2015 presentation by Alison Irvine, June 2015 presentation by Carol Campbell, June 2015

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Pro Formas from June Networking Day

SPT SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma June 2015
SOAN-SEStran Pro-Forma June 2015
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma Young Roots 2015
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma Our Heritage 2015
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma June 2015_PFA WfH
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma June 2015_PFA SCSP
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma June 2015_PFA Community Grants – Copy
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma June 2015 Sustrans
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma June 2015 Rob
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma June 2015 AK
SOAN-Funder-Pro-Forma Heritage Grants 2015 SOAN – Cycle Friendly Campus (1)

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SOAN Event June 2015: Funding Information and Networking Day

Our next networking event will be held in Cumbernauld on Monday 8th June 2015. Following our hugely successful event in November the membership have requested more targeted information around funding opportunities that could be available to them to deliver path/access improvements.

At this exciting event you will find the vast majority of potential funders under one roof for information sharing and questions. The event will be designed so that delegates meet funders informally in small groups to ensure that questions and answers can be targeted and key points such as fund requirements, match funding etc, are covered.

In the afternoon there will be an opportunity to hear about some case studies where joint funding has been secured and projects of varying scales have been successfully developed and delivered, including teasing out pitfalls and key benefits.

A sample of some of the funders already signed up:

  • Agri-Environment Climate Scheme – Improving Public Access option
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Paths For All
  • Regional Transport Partnerships
  • Smarter Choices Smarter Places
  • SNH
  • Sportscotland
  • Sustrans

…….. and more to follow.

Please complete the booking form below to secure your place, look forward to seeing you in June. The usual bargain price of £40 per delegate applies.

SOAN Networking Event: Funding Information and Networking Day

Monday 8th June 2015, 10.00-16.00, The Beechwood Suite, Cumbernauld Town Hall, Cumbernauld
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Save a New Date

We have changed the date for our next networking event.  See here for details: SAVE THE DATE

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