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14 March 06
Activities covered on the 10 signs include lambing, young livestock, land management operations, woodland management operations, shooting, working farmyards, farm traffic, fire risk, field margins and wildlife breeding sites. Land managers can use the signs to advise visitors about activities and hazards and allow the public to decide what action they should take.
The signs provide handy, ready-made resources that can be adapted for most situations and have been developed with help from the National Access Forum, which is made up of a variety of access interest groups. Packs also include a copy of the new 'Signs guidance for farmers and other land managers' publication'.
John Walters, access education tasks manager with Scottish Natural Heritage said: "Signs are one of the options open to land managers in managing for access on their ground. These new signs are practical resources that we hope farmers and others will find useful in encouraging them to operate within the spirit of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. They're designed to be easy to use, providing clear and helpful messages for the public about access arrangements when land management operations are taking place. We're giving away these 1000 packs in order to promote the new signs. But for the longer term land managers can download the sign templates for themselves from the internet and pass them on to a sign maker for manufacture."
The signs have been produced on durable, waterproof plastic and land managers can write information directly onto the signs to provide the public with relevant local advice. The entries can be made with a waterproof paint marker pen or on strips of removable clear vinyl. Both of these can later be taken off so that the signs can be re-used with new information.
In addition, on-line versions of the signs are now available on the www.outdooraccess-scotland.com website, which means land managers can insert information relevant to their own particular circumstances directly from their computer, and then print out the signs and laminate them for short term use.
Under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code land managers must manage their land and water responsibly for access. They can do this by not purposefully or unreasonably preventing, hindering or deterring people from exercising access rights on or off paths and tracks.
Signs can help land managers meet their responsibilities by encouraging the public to use paths, directing people away from sensitive areas, helping them find the best route, providing information on their responsibilities or warning about potential hazards. Signage is only one option, however, and land managers should always consider whether this presents the best approach.
The Signs guidance for farmers and other land managers publication provides comprehensive advice to farmers, crofters, estate factors etc on when, where and how to use appropriate and effective signage that complies with the Code. For circumstances where one of the ten template signs is not relevant, land managers can create signs specific to their own situation, using the templates and publication for guidance.
The free sign packs will be available in March on a 'first come, first served' basis by registering contact details on the www.outdooraccess-scotland.com website or phoning 01738 458545. The packs are available on the basis of one pack per applicant.