Access to the countryside is covered by the principles set out in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

  • take responsibility for your own actions
  • respect the interests of other people
  • care for the environment

For further information visit:

Access Problems

If you encounter a problem while taking access to the countryside in West Dunbartonshire, please complete an Access Problem Reporting Form and return it to the Access Officer.

Section 11 Exemption Orders

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 provides statutory access rights to most land and inland water in Scotland. Section 11 of the Act gives West Dunbartonshire Council the power to temporarily exempt areas of land or inland water from access rights within the Council area, outwith the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

If you wish to temporarily restrict access to certain areas of land you will have to apply to the Council for an Exemption Order.

Reasons why Exemption Orders may be required:

The main requirement for applying for an Exemption Order will be to exempt land from statutory access rights for outdoor events such as an agricultural show or a car rally in order to:

  • Allow a charge to be made for admission to an event
  • In the interests of safety and security
  • Increase privacy for particular events

Not all outdoor events will require an Exemption Order. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code provides guidance for event organisers on how to ensure their event does not cause unreasonable interference with the rights and needs of land managers and other people, and on how to minimise any impact on the environment. Exemption Orders are only required if you believe people exercising their access rights will affect the event. A copy of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code can be obtained by contacting the West Dunbartonshire Council Access Officer.

Exemption Orders will not be considered for the following activities:

  • Land management reasons as the Act provides sufficient exclusions. Further guidance on the responsible exercise of access rights over agricultural land is provided in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
  •  Large country houses or estates seeking an extensive exclusion for their whole estate well outwith any reasonable expectation of what is needed for privacy
  •  An area of land that is already subject to some management measure prohibiting or restricting access, e.g. where an existing byelaw is in place that deals with the issue
  •  Where a charge for admission is proposed and the charge is for entry only and not for an event