Countryside Access

Welcome to the Countryside Access pages of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. Countryside Access is part of the Development Department. This site provides an introduction to the Comhairle’s approach to countryside access in the Outer Hebrides. We also provide an introduction to current access legislation and links to sources of further information.

The Outer Hebrides have a great variety of habitats, from long windblown storm beaches through herb-rich ‘machair’ land where wild flowers abound in summer, onto wild moor-land and rugged mountains where hen harriers and golden eagles fly. The islands also have a long history of human habitation, dating back to at least the Neolithic period, and the area is rich in archaeological remains.

The best way to achieve a mutually agreed network of paths to allow people to enjoy the islands is to work in partnership with landowners, crofters and users of access to facilitate as far as possible agreement on the best routes in any given situation. This process is assisted by the Local Access Forum for the Outer Hebrides, composed of representatives from a wide range of backgrounds (e.g. crofters, landowners, user groups, health professionals etc.).

The primary legislation governing access to the countryside in Scotland is the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

If you have any queries regarding countryside access in the Outer Hebrides, please contact us

Outdoor Access Strategy

The Outer Hebrides Outdoor Access Strategy was ratified by the Comhairle in June 2006.  Below is a link to a pdf of the full strategy text:

Outdoor Access Strategy (160.8kB)