Commenting on the launch of the Scottish Outdoor Recreation Alliance (SORA) Manifesto issued today, Chief Operating Officer, Richard Barron said: “Our country is, we hope, on the cusp of being released from the grip of lockdown. 

“The great outdoors has played an important part in the health and well-being and sheer enjoyment for so many across Scotland. In the weeks, months and years to come, we all want to be able to experience these simple pleasures again. 

“Everyone has the right to access our countryside and the great outdoors. ScotWays is committed to upholding Scotland’s excellent public access rights. But these rights only apply if people behave responsibly. Last summer, with the release of long-pent-up-demand, we saw unprecedented, chaotic and hugely disruptive pressure of visitors seeking to enjoy Scotland’s countryside.  Sadly, that pressure was made more acute by the damaging behaviour of a minority, ranging from simple ignorance of responsible access to blatant criminality. 

There is a need for education, but also for information and infrastructure to help people make the right choices.

“The SORA manifesto is packed with ideas about how to improve the experience of visitors to Scotland’s countryside. 

“We hope that our politicians are listening.”

The manifesto was developed by Ramblers Scotland, British Horse Society, Cycling UK Scotland, Mountaineering Scotland, ScotWays and Scottish Canoe Association. It is also supported by The Outward Bound Trust, Scottish Adventure Activities Forum, Scottish Countryside Rangers Association, Scottish Wild Land Group, HorseScotland and Scottish Orienteering.