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:


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