Family having packed lunch on bench next to River Ayr ©beckyduncanphotographyltd/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot

Riverbanks and loch shores

Responsible behaviour by the public

The Access Code says:

Access rights can be exercised along riverbanks and loch shores except where a garden or other curtilage goes right up to the water's edge. Be aware that riverbanks and loch shores are often a refuge for wildlife and may be used for fishing and related management.

Show consideration to people fishing and keep a safe distance if an angler is casting a line. Some lochs and reservoirs are used intensively as commercial fisheries and so can be potentially dangerous where a lot of anglers are casting in a small area. Take care in such areas. If you wish to use a boat and there is a public slipway or launching point you should use it. Take extra care if you are passing by or landing on an island as these can often be a good refuge for wildlife.

Responsible behaviour by land managers

The Access Code says:

Respect the needs of those exercising access rights by letting people pass before casting a line. If you take steps to improve riparian habitats, to provide fishing paths or to place fences in moving water, respect the needs of those exercising or seeking to exercise access rights. For example, if you wish to use fencing to help regenerate or improve riparian habitats, provide gates or other access points or a reasonable, alternative route.