top of page

Access and The Land Reform Act.


The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 guarantees access to the countryside under certain conditions for groups and individuals.

It does not include anglers within the legislation as individuals guaranteed access and identifies the sport and its followers as individuals specifically excluded from it. 


It is important for anglers to understand this legislation as there will be occasions when access to water may require an individual to cross over a landowner’s ground and if that ground is not near water then access rights can be claimed.  However on approaching any water the Angler is no longer protected by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act and comes under legal requirements placed upon him under the terms of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Trespass (Scotland) Act.


Access rights


Everyone has the statutory access rights established by this Act. They are the rights

  • to be on land and

  • to cross land.


These rights can only be exercised


  • For recreational purposes.

  • For the purposes of carrying on a relevant educational activity.

  • For the purposes of carrying on, commercially or for profit, an activity which the person exercising the right could carry on otherwise than commercially or for profit.


Wild Camping


Many anglers enjoy  a fishing and camping break on the banks of a river or a loch.  While the Land Reform Act acknowledges "wild" camping for walkers as part of their journey, it also places the legal responsibility upon them as described above.


Anglers camping have no such protection under The Land Reform Act and if permission for camping has not been obtained, they can be charged under The Trespass (Scotland) Act. 

Anglers camping on or near to water require the land owner’s permission.


The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 can be viewed on line or a copy purchased from Scottish Government Publications.

bottom of page