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Rights of Way

Rights of Way play an important role in Outdoor Access in Scotland. The Access Service is responsible for investigated alleged Rights Of Way and any obstruction of closure of alleged Rights of Way.

The Council is responsible for asserting and protecting access rights on public rights of way which are wholly or partly within their area. The Council has a duty to ensure rights of way are accessible to members of the public. It is the responsibility of the land manager to keep rights of way open and free from obstruction.

The criteria for Rights of Way are:

  • The track must run from one public place to another public place.
  • The track must follow a more or less defined route.
  • The track must have been used openly and peaceably by members of the public otherwise than with the permission, express or implied, of the landowner.
  • It must have been so used without substantial and effective interruption for a period of 20 years or more.

Land managers can apply for an informal or formal diversion to a public right of way. The application is subject to wider public consultation and all costs associated with the process (including any physical diversion) must be met by the land manager. Please contact the Access Service for more information. 


Who can use Rights of Way?

Rights of way can be for car, horse, bike and foot:

  • The greater permits the lesser i.e. car allows all other modes. A footpath only allows walkers and none of the higher groups.
  • Under the Land Reform Act all users would be allowed to use a right of way by any method other than vehicular.


The Council or land manager is under no obligation to maintain a right of way. 

Related Information

Contact Details

 

Countryside Access Officer - East

Militia House
English Street
Dumfries
DG1 2HR

Tel: 030 33 33 3000 Ext: 65997
Fax: 01387 260111
Email this contact

Outdoor Access Service

Militia House
English Street
Dumfries
DG1 2HR

Tel: 030 33 33 3000
Email this contact

Contact Dumfries and Galloway Council T: 030 33 33 3000

Council Offices
English Street
Dumfries
DG1 2DD

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