Back to Scottish Outdoor Access
Code (SOAC) Homepage
Email to Bridget Dales, SNH:
Responses to Draft Scottish Outdoor Access Code Consultation
Farmer and editor, LandCare Scotland and www.land-care.org.uk
(Filed 23 Sept 03)
23 Sept 03
To: Bridget Dales, Recreation and Access Group
Thank you for arranging for me to view on Monday
22nd September the responses received by SNH to the consultation
on its Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC), closing date 30 June
In an earlier email to me in July you indicated
the preliminary breakdown of these responses and said that SNH hoped
to publicise the confirmed final number in the next few days. I
wonder if you have available the confirmed breakdown of the responses
as SNH chooses to classify them.
My visit to SNH Battleby revealed that the responses
were filed in order of receipt together with a list of their authors
in the same order. There was no database or other system whereby
responses from specific bodies or individuals could readily be traced
- one just had to look though a list of some 1300+ to find each
individual one. On this basic list there was some indication that
the responses had been classified in some way, but your assistant
was unable to tell me what the letters meant.
I find this extraordinary in view of the importance
of these responses and the immense amount of time and effort that
that those responding had clearly dedicated to the task, indicating
the depth of their concern.
I asked your assistant if I may please have a
copy of the list of responses so that precious time is not wasted
sitting at SNH trying to find responses from organisations and others
who have not made their full responses available on their websites.
She declined to provide me with a photocopy and promised to ask
you about this, adding that SNH would get back to me promptly.
In the time available to me on Monday 22 Sept
(some five and a half hours) I managed to review the first 500 +
responses which certainly provided a good feel for the tone of these
responses. But I failed in my other objective which was to be able
to read those responses that are in the public domain from specific
organisations etc due to the regrettable lack of proper organisation
of the information - more than two and a half months from the closing
I note that SNH is due to present a paper at
the conference on 1st October on Land Reform, Dewar Centre, Perth.
Is it that the results of the consultation are going to be presented
without their being an efficient way for those other than SNH itself
to independently analyse them?
I would be grateful for your prompt response.
Dr James Irvine
Farmer and Editor, LandCare Scotland and www.land-care.org.uk