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The old paper copies are now very out of date, so please recycle.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 www.outdoorrecreation.org.uk/events/outdoor-recreation-network-conference-outdoor-recreation-active-lifestyles-understanding-behavioural-change/


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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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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.

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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!

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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: [email protected] 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: [email protected]


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: [email protected]w: www.sjacm.co.ukSummary 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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