Core Paths

Information about core paths in Stirling

Access right and responsibilities

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 grants responsible, non-motorised access to most land and water in Scotland. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code provides guidance to the public and land managers, defining the responsibilities associated with these rights. The three main priorities of responsible access are;

  • Respect the interests of other people.
  • Care for the environment.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code is managed by Naturescot, further resources and advice can be found on their website.

Core paths

Stirling Council consulted and produced a comprehensive list of Core Paths in 2009. NatureScot provide a full list of all the Core Paths in Scotland which can be found on their website.

Obstructions

If you find any obstacles while exercising your right of responsible access, such as a locked gate, threatening sign, or individual, you can report the situation to the Council for advice or investigation. When making a report, please provide as much detail as possible, including:

  • The exact location of the obstruction, preferably with a map-based grid reference.
  • A detailed account of the date and circumstances of the encounter.
  • If possible, a digital photograph of the obstruction.
  • Your contact details, including phone number and email address.

We will acknowledge and record your report and may contact you for further discussion or to initiate an investigation to resolve the obstruction.

Diversion Exemptions and Closures

Core paths in Scotland have legal protection. Local Authorities are responsible for establishing, regulating, and protecting them. Any planned works or land management practices that might change the path's route, surface or require management of public access need approval from Stirling Council. If you're planning such works, you should notify Stirling Council by completing the form. Send the completed form to accessofficer@stirling.gov.uk at least 6 weeks prior to the commencement of work.

The completed form and any diversion signage will be reviewed. If approved, they will be published in the weekly planning schedule.

Current planned closures or diversions can be found here.

Rights Of Way

In addition to the statutory access rights that exists in Scotland most people have heard of Rights of Way. They are also protected routes that are established under our common law and there is no single statute governing them.

Rights of Way follow historic routes and have four essential criteria;

  • It must join two public places (e.g. public roads or other rights of way); and
  • It must follow a more or less defined route; and
  • It must have been used, openly and peaceably, by the general public, as a matter of right, i.e. not just with the permission of the landowner; and
  • It must have been used without substantial interruption for at least 20 years.

There may also be land included in a designated Right of Way which would not be included under general access rights, for example, near a house or building. The full catalogue of Rights of Way in Scotland is looked after by ScotWays. As with core paths any works affected the surface or accessibility of the Right of Way need to be approved by Stirling Council. Individuals are advised to complete the attached and send to accessofficer@stirling.gov.uk in the first instance at least 6 weeks prior to the commencement of work. There may also be the requirement for the completion of a Temporary Traffic Order (TTRO). The TTRO process can take considerably longer, up to 16 weeks. You are advised to contact the access officer in the first instance if a Right of Way is within your planned work site.

Current planned closures or diversions can be found here.

Stirling Area Local Access Forum

What is the Stirling Area Local Access Forum?

The Stirling Area Local Access Forum (SALAF) was formed under the provisions of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. It is a group of people who meet regularly to discuss ways of improving and managing public access into the countryside. The Forum normally meets 3 times a year.

It covers the area within the Stirling Council boundary but outside the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Their work includes advising the Council and others on public rights of access under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and rights of way matters as well as contributing to the development of strategies and plans such as the Stirling Council Core Paths Plan.

Who can join?

Anybody can be a Forum member. You don’t need to be a legal genius or even be a member of an organisation. What you do need is a desire to become involved with access to the countryside and be prepared to work with others to achieve a common purpose. The Terms of Reference show you what is expected of members.

How do I join?

There are four groups on the Forum that represent users, landowners and managers, community groups and local or national organisations. Members serve for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years. An advert is placed in the paper when new members are needed. Anyone can apply by completing an application form and sending it to the Council.

We are currently looking for new members. Please fill in the application form if you are interested in joining the Stirling Area Local Access Forum and send it back to the contact details given on the form.

Forum meeting dates for 2024/25

  • Wednesday February 21 2024
  • Wednesday June 5 2024
  • Wednesday October 9 2024

Previous confirmed minutes for the Forum can be found for November 2023 onwards;

2023/24              Minutes Wednesday 1 November

2024/25              Minutes for 21 February to be confirmed at June meeting

Contents