Wild about camping?

Summer’s here and folk are heading to the hills, beaches, lochs and forests to enjoy all that Scotland’s great outdoors has to offer. Wild camping can be enjoyed in many places – but PLEASE adhere to the simple step-by-step code to make sure all can enjoy our wilderness. Here’s our take on what’s needed …

Wild camping is just that – camping in the wild – not on an organised camp site or with groups such as the Scouts or Guides.


What you need to know …

Need more? Here’s more from the Code to help you plan your trip.



The Access Code says: Access rights do not extend to any motorised activities. However, many people use their cars to get into the outdoors and parking a vehicle without regard to the interests of other people can cause problems. Therefore, when you park your vehicle it is important not to cause any damage or create an obstruction by: not blocking an entrance to a field or building, not making it difficult for other people to use a road or track, having regard for the safety of others, trying not to damage the verge and using a car park if one is nearby.


Wherever possible, use a stove rather than light an open fire. If you do wish to light an open fire, keep it small, under control, and supervised – fires that get out of control can cause major damage, for which you might be liable. Never light an open fire during prolonged dry periods or in areas such as forests, woods, farmland or on peaty ground or near to buildings or in cultural heritage sites where damage can be easily caused. Heed all advice at times of high risk. Remove all traces of an open fire before you leave.



Access rights apply to picnicking. Take care to consider the needs of other people in choosing where to picnic. For your own health, avoid picnicking in fields where there are farm animals (or may have been recently) or where the farmer has indicated that the field has recently been sprayed with lime or slurry. Do not feed any farm animals and take all litter, including any food scraps, away with you.



Just to repeat! No-one likes seeing litter in the outdoors, whether it’s discarded picnic wrappings, food scraps or fruit peel, bottles, cans, broken glass or abandoned tents. To keep our countryside as we would all wish to find it, set yourself the challenge of leaving no trace of your visit. Take away all your litter. Take particular care not to drop things like bottles, cans or plastic bags as these can damage machinery and if eaten by a farm animal or a wild animal they can cause severe injury or death. Do not leave any food scraps or associated packaging as these might be eaten by animals and help to spread disease.



If you need to urinate, do so at least 30 metres from open water or rivers and streams. If you need to defecate, do so as far away as possible from buildings, from open water or rivers and streams, and from any farm animals. Bury faeces in a shallow hole and replace the turf.



Use a gate where one has been provided and leave it as you find it. Do not climb over gates, fences, dykes or hedges unless there is no reasonable alternative nearby. If you have to climb over a fence, avoid causing any damage by doing so near to a post. Climb a gate at the hinge end.



When are sheep lambing? When are different crops being planted and harvested? Find out about the different land management activities going on throughout the year using this calendar. You could also use this list to help plan your outdoor activities.


For more information, please visit the Scottish Outdoor Access Code website.


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