Outdoor Access Code

Public Access Rights

We're making a big contribution to the public's enjoyment of the great outdoors.

Outdoor Access Code

All public access rights to most land and inland water are set out in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

Scotland’s local authorities and National Park authorities are the access authorities in their areas, with a number of specific duties and powers under the Act. 

All access rights are detailed in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) which is published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). 

Scottish Water recognises the public value of its land and water assets. As well as our statutory duties we can also make a big contribution to the public’s enjoyment of Scotland’s great outdoors. 

But access to land and water must be managed to protect our core duties to provide high quality drinking water and provide a safe environment for our operators and the general public. These duties are our highest priority. 

The Scottish Water Public Access to Land and Water policy supports responsible access (singular, event or commercial use) to our land and water assets where:  

  1. It is compatible with our duty to provide high quality drinking water.
  2. It offers no security risk to Scottish water for reasons of national or public interest. 
  3. It offers limited safety risk to Scottish Water or the general public.

For detailed guidance on specific activities on land and water, events and commercial activities view the full Scottish Water Access to Land and Water policy via our Document Hub


Scottish Outdoor Access Code

For more on public access rights check out the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Find out more

Access to Scottish Water Land and Reservoirs

For enquiries regarding access to our land and reservoirs:

Email us