Outdoor access

Exemption orders

Where an outdoor event may affect the public taking access in that locality, an exemption order may be required from us to exempt that area of land for the duration of the event and possibly periods immediately before and after the event.

We can exempt areas of land from access rights for short periods of time to enable admission charges for events such as sporting events, Highland games or fetes or for other reasons such as public safety or security.

Not all events require an exemption order. If the event is unlikely to obstruct a known public access route a temporary advisory note or diversion could divert people around the area without causing significant inconvenience. You should consider how serious the risk of non payment is likely to be as it may be possible to manage admission by charging for parking, a programme or some other service.

Rights of way are not covered by exemption orders.

People normally show respect for short term events such as open air weddings or funeral services and a public access exemption should not be necessary.

Current Exemption Orders

There are currently no active exemption orders in Highland.

Proposed Access Exemptions

A proposed access exemption for Limekiln Forest, Reay, Caithness is currently open for representations until 4 September 2020. The notice and associated map can be seen here.

When you need to apply

Where an exemption order is for a period of less than 6 days the order can be processed by us. You should make your application to us at least four weeks before your event.

If the application is for 6 days or more

Where the application relates to periods of six days or more we must follow a formal consultation procedure and the application must be referred to Ministers for approval. You will therefore need to submit your application to us at least 16 weeks before your event.