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Who has duties and powers

Duties and powers under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003

Access Authority: (The ‘access authority’ is the local authority or the national park authority).


  • Publicise the Code - s10
  • Uphold access rights – s13
  • Core paths planning: prepare, adopt review, s17,18,20
  • Establish a local access forum, s25
  • Review (and modify) any existing byelaws within 2 years, s30


  • Exempt land from access rights for short periods, s11
  • Make byelaws, s12
  • Removal of prohibition signs, obstructions, etc, s14
  • Measures for safety, protection, guidance, s15
  • Land acquisition, s16
  • Maintenance of and directions to core paths, s19
  • Path agreement, s21,  Path order, s22
  • Control ploughing etc of core paths and rights of way, s23
  • Appointment of rangers and access officers, s24
  • Powers of entry to land, s24,26
  • Entitlement to be party to any declaration proceedings by the sheriff, s28

Scottish Natural Heritage:


To draw up and issue the Scottish Outdoor Access Code; to publicise and to promote understanding of the Code; and to keep the Code under review, s10.


To modify the Code after review, s10;  powers to protect the natural heritage, s29


To be consulted over byelaws, s12; and core paths plans, s18

Sheriff court:


To issue a declaration,s28, over -

  • whether specified land is land where access rights are exercisable
  • whether a person is responsible in their exercise of access rights or their management of land where access rights are exercisable
  • whether a path is a right of way of any sort