Guidance on responsible access
Responsible access to the Stirlingshire countryside
All kinds of people use paths
Multi-use paths

Working with others
Falkirk Area Riders Access Group (FARAG) works with other interest groups to facilitate multi-use paths.


Wear high visibility clothing
Be seen, be safe

Your legal responsibilities
Please remember  that the law permits responsible access., not reckless behaviour or spoiling things for others.



What is responsible access?
Horse riders and carriage drivers can now experience a new freedom of access to land in Scotland under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. This establishes a statutory right of non-motorised responsible access to most land including moorland, forests, farmland and canal banks, and even open spaces in towns.
Your access rights and responsibilities are explained fully in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Whether you’re in the outdoors or managing the outdoors, the key things are to:

* take responsibility for your own action
* respect the interests of other people
* care for the environment
Find out more by visiting or phoning your local Scottish Natural Heritage office.

BHS Access Guidelines

The BHS has issued guidelines on responsible access, which include the following:

Responsibility to others

Areas of Responsibility

To Land Managers

Be considerate and aware

Do not disrupt ongoing land management operations, e.g. ploughing, tree harvesting, fertilising

Ride slowly past all livestock

Leave all gates as you find them

Do not enter fields where there might be animals that may be a danger to you or in danger from you

Leave your dog at home unless you are in total control under all circumstances

Get permission before jumping any hedgerows, fences, jumps, gates, walls or using custom made gallops. Repetitive schooling is excluded from the legislation

Do not ride on boggy, wet, soft ground or churn up surfaces on paths, tracks or fields

To The Environment

Be considerate and aware

Don't damage surfaces by riding on ground that is wet or poorly drained

Don't damage hedgerows and timber by jumping

Don't leave a mess,  take litter home

Be careful around historic and archaeological sites and sites of biological significance, e.g. SSSI's

To the Public

Be considerate and aware

Be cheery and polite to everyone you meet, and respect other's peace and privacy

Give way to others where necessary.

Take into account the possibility that people you meet may be old, infirm, disabled or just petrified of horses

The countryside is not risk free; take care of your own and your horse's safety and that of others.

Other Responsibilities

Follow advice contained in the Highway Code, follow the relevant advice in the BHS Riding and Road Craft manual and wear high visibility gear.

If your horse deposits droppings in a public place, particularly on a path that is used by wheelchairs, prams or cyclists it is courteous and responsible to dismount and kick it to the side.

Follow any local byelaws, regulations or approved guidance. There are buildings and land that are exempt from the law and there are activities that are excluded too so....

 Download "Know The Code" Leaflet

Dung Guidance


The BHS offers some information on concerns about horse dung. Since the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, horse riders and carriage drivers have a right of responsible access to many more paths and tracks than before. 

Although there is no legislation requiring riders to pick up dung, it is sensible to have a dung strategy to help preserve your rights of access in future: (See right hand column.)


General · Horses usually dung within a short distance from the start of their ride · Some horses never dung when exercised · Some horse will automatically stop, some will slow down, others will dung at any speed and the rider often is unaware.

Hygiene · Unlike dog faeces horse dung from the normal healthy horse does not present a threat to human health. · Horse dung is mainly digested grass · Horse dung is good for biodiversity, and is useful in a compost bin · Horse dung is biodegradeable

Public Roads · There is no legislation to obligate riders or carriage drivers to clean up their horse’s dung from the public roads.

If a rider is on a road and their horse has dunged outside someone’s driveway, and it is safe to do so, then it may be courteous to dismount and kick the dung into the gutter, only if the road is clear and your horse is amenable. 

Carriage drivers should carry a shovel and a bucket with them to lift and remove dung and take it home, as long as it is safe to do. 

Riding schools or livery yards that regularly use public roads close by may be courteous by do a regular “poo run” to clear dung from these roads

Paths, Tracks and other off-road Routes · Riding schools or livery yards that regularly use paths or tracks would be courteous by doing a regular “poo run” to clear dung from these routes .

If your horse dungs on a multiuse path, particularly on a path that is used by wheelchairs, prams or cyclists it is courteous and responsible to dismount and kick it to the side or position your horse to the side of the path if you can before he starts.

position to the edge of the track

Car parks · Never clean your horsebox or trailer out in a car park, layby or onto a path. If your horse dungs whilst tied up outside your vehicle please remove the dung and take it home with you

Dogs · Under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 a person commits an offence if they do not immediately remove the faeces of their dog in any public open space, this includes riders or drivers who take their dogs with them, and includes paths, tracks, the beach, etc.




  Ellie McMillan

Secretary / Treasurer

Sheila Hall, Balcastle House, Slamannan, Tel: 01324 851262  

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