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Back to Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) Homepage

Draft Scottish Outdoor Access Code:

Preliminary Comments by SNH on

Responses to Consultation

(Filed 28 July 03)

In response to an enquiry from Land-Care, Bridget Dales of SNH commented on 24th July as follows:

"SNH has received representations from over 1,300 respondents. As a large number of these were received at the very end of the consultation period, it has taken some time to identify duplicates (post and email and fax) and log those which were submitted (by agreement) after the closing date. We hope to publicise the confirmed final number in the next few days.

Once we have issued the final number, we will indeed be able to provide a breakdown of respondent type. From a preliminary examination of those logged to date: of the 900 Individuals who responded, over 400 identified themselves as land managers; over 300 did not state their interest; and over 100 identified themselves as recreational users.

The remaining representations are from: Community Councils; User groups; representative bodies; Local authorities; NGOs; national and regional agencies; other businesses.

The responses, with the exception of those submitted in confidence by their authors, are indeed available for viewing by anyone who would like to examine them. Viewing is by appointment at either our Battleby or Edinburgh (Anderson Place) offices. We hope that a full index will have been produced by 28 July to aid this viewing. Please contact me if you would like to make an appointment.

In terms of the process of collating and analysing the responses, this task will be undertaken by SNH. As the draft Code was based on the advice of the national Access Forum, we will again seek the advice of this forum on the issues raised and the potential changes to the Code. However, it will be for SNH's Main Board to consider and approve a revised draft of the Code to be submitted to Ministers. Ministers will then decide whether to accept, reject or write a new Code, and the Scottish Parliament is required to give final approval.

You ask about the future of the Access Forum. SNH carried out a consultation on the role, structure, representation and ways of working of the Access Forum over the same period as the Access Code consultation. The outcome of this review, based on the views received, will be made available in due course."

Bridget Dales, Recreation & Access Group, Scottish Natural Heritage