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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04828: Finlay Carson (Galloway and West Dumfries)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 18 November 2016

To ask the Scottish Government which organisation is responsible for the health and safety of walkers on core paths.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 6 December 2016

Health and safety is a complex area of law and is not the responsibility of any one organisation alone. Land managers owe a duty of care to people entering onto their land whether or not this is a core path and may, for example, restrict access when machinery is being used. Members of the public also have a duty of care to land managers and to other people, for example by not riding or cycling too fast.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code ( sets out the access rights and responsibilities of the public and land managers. Scottish Natural Heritage has also published "A Brief Guide to Occupiers' Legal Liabilities in Scotland in Relation to Public Outdoor Access" ( and "A Brief Guide to Laws Relevant to Outdoor Access In Scotland" (