Upholding Access Rights – Recent Land Reform case law: developments and updates

Over the last 12 months, two decisive land reform cases have concluded in the courts, both of which could be significant in how Access Authorities approach their statutory responsibilities. At this event we will delve into the detail of those cases from the perspectives of both the legal teams and access specialists involved, and discuss the legacies and lessons learnt which could benefit the sector. The day will also cover the latest mediation process work being undertaken by the SORA (the Scottish Outdoor Recreation Association) which may provide another tool for Authorities as they seek to resolve challenging cases.

The event will be of particular interest to both public and private sector legal specialists, outdoor access professionals, other Access Authority staff and access and recreation organisations, as well as anyone with an interest in the law affecting access to land.

Where – The National Piping Centre & The Pipers’ Tryst Hotel

When – Monday 3 June 2019 10:30 – 16:00

For more details and to book visit our Conference and Events page.

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Dumfries Street Design Project’ – Sharing Best Practice to make our neighbourhoods safer, more vibrant and attractive places to live.

This next Sharing Good Practice Event will showcase the developments that have taken place within the Victorian Quarter area of Dumfries. This event is aimed at anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of the strategic planning, community involvement, partnerships, technical design, funding and practical implementation considerations of a typical street design project. It will be led by two of the project partners: Sustrans Scotland and the ‘DG1 Neighbours’ community group.

Date: Wednesday 24thApril 2019                      Time: CANCELLED

For more details and to book visit our Conference and Events page.

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Notes from networking event “Creating Better Access for Everyone” 6th June 2018

SOAN June event notes

SOAN workshop note cultural barriers

Disabled GO, design activity notes

18-06-06_Inclusive Design_RC_3

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Networking Day and AGM, Wednesday 6th June 2018

SOAN networking day 6 June 2018, Linlithgow  Burgh Halls, 10.00-16.00

Creating better access for everyone – designing for, and encouraging, inclusion in the outdoors

SOAN’s June networking day will focus on what inclusive design really looks like when trying to reduce the obstacles to outdoor access for all.  These barriers may be based on social or cultural issues, infrastructure or ability, but we all have a duty to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors.

Topics covered will include the legislative context to inclusion and the guidance available.  The event will also highlight case studies where inclusion has been a focus and there will be workshops where delegates will have the opportunity to discuss these issues more informally.

The event will also include the SOAN AGM.

The cost is £50

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Notes from networking event “The Changing Landscape for Access”

8th June 2017 Funding Notes_RC

8th June 2017 Training Round Table

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Seminar organised by Outdoor Recreation Network, 18th April 2018

Changing Approaches to Monitoring Participation in Outdoor Recreation

Event flyer -Cardiff (A2576890)

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Sharing Good Practice Event, 28th March 2018

Event Description SOAN SATIN – Little France Park Actice Travel

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Sharing Good Practice to Improve our Paths, Thursday 22nd February 2018

SOAN SATIN – East Lothian IPA

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SOAN Sharing Best Practice Event – Loch Earn Railway Path (LERP), St. Fillans – Sharing Best Practice to improve our local shared use paths and strategic long distance routes

Join SOAN partners for a site visit looking at how we can better develop, design, manage and promote our local and long distance shared use paths.

This good practice event will highlight the multi-year, multi-phase development of the Loch Earn Railway Path (LERP), formed on the route of the disused Caledonian Railway and linking the villages of Comrie, St Fillans and Lochearnhead. This event is aimed at anyone wishing to gain a better understanding around the planning, design, funding and practical implementation considerations of shared-use path infrastructure. It will be led by Cycling Scotland’s project delivery specialists (T,P&E), who acted as project managers on all phases of these works, with support from Paths for All and input from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and community representatives.

Who should attend?

Those working to support and improve access to outdoor environments and greenspace including outdoor access/planning professionals, those involved in active travel infrastructure and community path groups.

Date: Wed 24th January 2018                   Time: 10.30am – 2.30pm


Sandison Hall, St. Fillans, Perth and Kinross.


£40 per person. Tea and coffee will be provided on arrival and a buffet lunch is included at 12.45pm.

Numbers are limited, so to avoid disappointment we recommend that bookings are made as soon as possible.



Directions to venue:

By bus (15A):
Although relatively infrequent during the winter months, there is a daily bus service to St Fillans during the winter months, travelling between Perth and Stirling and which stops at the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Fillans. Further details on the route can be found here.

By rail:
Unfortunately, the nearest train station is approx. 20 miles away at Gleneagles.

By car:
The post code for the meeting point is PH6 2NF. Access is via the A85 from either Comrie, to the east, or Lochearnhead, to the west.
Free parking: is available at the Sandison Hall


A minibus will be travelling to the venue from Dunblane at 9.45am and will return immediately after the event has ended. Space will be allocated on a first come basis and can be requested within the booking form. If you would like to take advantage of this option, at no additional cost, please book as soon as possible.

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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:


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