Welcome to the very first edition of Scottish Outdoor Access Network’s newsletter.
Earlier this year we said goodbye to our previous administrator, Emma, and I am delighted to have taken on this interesting and diverse role. My name is Susan Dickson and I have worked as a countryside ranger, educator and manager for over 30 years. I am supporting SOAN with administration, including producing this newsletter, managing the website, updating the Twitter account and helping to plan and arrange learning events. My normal working hours are Monday pm, Tuesday and Wednesday. Please email me with your news and suggestions for any future content or features at [email protected].
Seeking Knowledge about Access?
You can communicate with the Scottish Outdoor Access network, post queries and legislative conundrums about access or active travel on the SOAN forum of the Knowledge Hub – First you’ll need to register for the Knowledge Hub (which only takes a minute) then join the SOAN forum – this is a closed group and all requests to join are sent to SOAN administrators for approval.
Scottish Access Technical Information Network (SATIN) Website
The Scottish Access Technical Information Network (SATIN) was established in 2009. It shares best practice and provides support to those interested and involved in the development and management of active travel and outdoor access infrastructure. There is a wealth of information available including best practice guidance and some very interesting Case Studies.
Inclusive Designs for Dementia
Paths for All have been looking at how paths and walking environments can be more welcoming to people living with dementia. They have recently updated their Dementia and the Outdoors Note to help you make your outdoor space space more accessible for anyone living with dementia.
The Ian Findlay Path Fund
The Ian Findlay Path Fund is supported by Transport Scotland and will launch during summer 2022. Its aim is to support path network improvements within and between communities, making it easier for people to walk, wheel or cycle for daily journeys.
The fund will support path management projects that:
– Improve accessibility and resilience of existing paths between homes, community facilities, active travel routes and public transport facilities.
– Remove barriers so existing paths are more accessible.
– Link paths to community destinations such as homes and public transport connections.
– Improve and create routes to aid the development of 20-minute neighbourhoods.
The Open Fund
Grants are available to encourage people to travel more sustainably. The Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP) Open Fund aims to encourage people to change their behaviours to walk or cycle as part of their everyday short journeys.
Training Opportunities and Events
‘‘RSPB Scotland, Loch Lomond Nature Reserve” – This sharing good practice on managing complex outdoor access projects within a protected / designated area training course, on the 9th of June, was a great success. Hosted by RSPB Scotland, we were shown around the considerable access works which were undertaken to create a new link between the carparking area and the Lochside. These included a considerable section of recycled plastic boardwalk. Noting the site’s protected status and multiple designations, the works were undertaken at a time, and in a manner, which helped to protect the sites varied and fragile flora and fauna.
One participants comment was:
“The whole event was excellent – presentation, informative, clear and interesting – then going out to walk and look at the work done. Also opportunity to network & share information”
More events are being planned but if you have a particular topic that you would like to learn more about and would suit this type of event then drop us a line and we will try our best to accommodate it. If you have a project you feel would make a good case study for a SOAN visit, please get in touch with us.