View of Loch Goil from the Contemplation Shelter in Cormonachan Community Woodlands
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS
Remember that the outdoors isn’t risk-free and act with care at all times for your own safety and that of others.
Think and stay local: make use of the paths, open spaces and quiet roads in your own local area – take exercise locally and avoid travelling. So visit Cormonachan Community Woodlands first before travelling more widely…
There are still walkways and local national walking and cycle routes across the country that are open for people to use, but be mindful of others that you come across and to keep the recommended 2 metre (6ft) distance. If you come across others and the walking path is narrow, be patient and allow others to pass safely.
Avoid touching surfaces like gates as much as possible – try to plan a route that does not require you to open gates. Wash your hands or gloves as soon as you get home.
Plan your visit: make sure you plan ahead if you drive to places for walks or exercise. It’s good to know which car parks are open again, which facilities have reopened, and which places are still closed to the public before you venture out.
Be mindful of closures: some spaces, paths and particular spots may still be closed. This is because staff have been unable to carry out their regular checks to ensure it’s safe for visitors to use. If you see any closed signs, please respect these as it is not safe for you and your family to use them just now.
Take special care of children: they may not appreciate the different circumstances that now apply when exploring outdoor spaces.
Stay safe: don’t light bonfires or barbecues as these can easily get out of control, and take extra care around natural hazards. No Camping or Fires are permitted in Cormonachan Community Woodlands and no overnight parking is allowed.
Using public transport: capacity on public transport is limited due to the need to remain 2 metres away from anyone outside of your household, and masks are now mandatory. Always consider your journey before you travel, think about the time of day and alternative ways to travel, or places to visit.
Water areas – it is always important to be mindful when around bodies of water. Scotland’s countryside is home to many lochs, rivers, canals, and reservoirs which are a pretty sight to see but please be especially cautious when exploring with young children and people who are unable to swim.
Please also read and heed any water safety advice, guidance and signage where provided and keep yourself and other safe. Our coasts and waters are great places to visit for all the family, but make sure you plan ahead where appropriate. For more information, safety guidelines and helpful advice, visit
LOOK AFTER OTHERS
What has been amazing about the last few months, is how much we have all helped each other and supported friends, family and our communities when needed. Please keep that kindness going by considering how your actions affect others when out exploring Scotland.
The Contemplation Shelter on the Squirrel Trail in Cormonachan Community Woodlands is open all year round to visitors
RESPECT THE INTERESTS OF OTHER PEOPLE
Behave with courtesy, consideration and awareness. Respect the privacy, safety and livelihoods of those living and working in the outdoors, and the needs of other people enjoying the outdoors.
Manage your expectations: it is key to remember that even when restrictions are loosened/lifted, a lot of outdoor areas have not been operating for over three months, so even when they re-open, staff will need time and space to check the access to some paths, clean and service facilities, and generally make sure the area is ready for visitors again. As this happens, it is important to be mindful and manage your expectations – be patient and allow staff to do their job before visiting the area.
Visiting smaller and more rural communities: Scotland’s cities are amazing, but we all like to head out of them from time to time and spend a much-loved day in the countryside. Please consider where you’re going, and the facilities that will be available – smaller communities have less shops, petrol stations and toilets available, and those that are open will be small and may need to limit the number of people who use them at one time. Make sure you’re not putting additional pressure on an area that may have a particularly vulnerable community or still be learning to operate post-lockdown. This is particularly true for Scotland’s island communities, which are mainly accessible via ferry – which will have limited capacity due to physical distancing. Please consider the impact of your trip before you leave the house.
Tread carefully: as we have been under lockdown, nature has begun to reclaim its space and flourish in our absence. Please make sure you keep your dog on a lead if you are near farms or fields, to be sure not to disturb any animals or wildlife that you come across.
3 tips for farm walks:
- Never feed farm animals.
- Avoid entering fields with crops or animals.
- Leave gates as you find them.
LOOK AFTER THE ENVIRONMENT
Look after the places you visit and enjoy, and always leave the land as you find it. Our beautiful landscapes and historic monuments bring a lot of joy to those lucky enough to see them in person – make sure that continues to happen by never causing damage – intentional or accidental. ”Leave No Trace”.
- Always take your rubbish home with you.
- Pick up after your dog.
- Keep a safe distance from any land management operations.
- Never intentionally or recklessly disturb or destroy a plant, bird, animal or geological feature.
- Don’t damage or disturb cultural heritage sites
A lot of Scotland’s countryside location may still be shut to the public and should NOT be attempted to access while under lockdown:
- Mountain biking trails
- Public toilets
- Public car parks
FIND OUT MORE:
- Forestry and Land Scotland
- Scottish Natural Heritage
- Scotland’s National Nature Reserves
- Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
- National Trust for Scotland
- Historic Environment Scotland
- Visit Scotland
Always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and enjoy our great outdoors – we’re all very lucky to have them!