Arable weeds growing by the edge of a wheat field. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot

Margins of fields with growing crops

Responsible behaviour by the public

The Access Code says:

You can exercise access rights on the margins of fields in which crops are growing, even if the margin has been sown with a crop. Some margins can be managed for wildlife (remember that some farmers may receive payments for doing this) and for encouraging game birds so take care by keeping dogs on a short lead or close at heel and by not lingering if birds become significantly disturbed by your presence. If the margin is narrow or has been planted, avoid causing unnecessary damage, particularly if you are cycling or horse riding, by keeping in single file and staying close to the edge of the field.

Responsible behaviour by land managers

The Access Code says:

Leaving uncultivated margins can help people to exercise access rights responsibly and help to support wildlife so it makes sense, wherever possible, to do this. In popular places you may wish to encourage people to use particular routes.

Other information:

Access rights and field margins

At the time of year when scheme management and cropping is underway, and when there is more recreation activity in the countryside, it is a good time to note that Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments may be in effect on land where the public is exercising access rights.