With such incredible wilderness on our doorstep, enjoying the outdoors in Highland Perthshire is a hugely rewarding experience. However, it’s important that we treat the outdoors with respect, and leave everything the way we found it. If you’re planning to enjoy the outdoors, whether hiking or camping, we’ve put together some useful resources.

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The Scottish Outdoor Access Code

In Scotland, you can go on to most land to enjoy the outdoors – as long as you behave responsibly. This is known as Scottish access rights and is different to the position in England and Wales. When you are enjoying the outdoors, you must follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

What is the Scottish Outdoor Access Code? (NatureScot 2020)

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code is based on three key principles:

  • Respect the interests of others.
  • Care for the environment.
  • Take responsibility for your own actions.

Before heading out to enjoy the outdoors of Highland Perthshire, take a few moments to read the key points when visiting the outdoors, and find more details on the Practical Guide for All.

Informal and Wild Camping

Perth and Kinross Council have a comprehensive guide on how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly when camping in Highland Perthshire. The key points are:

  • Take away all your litter, including your tent.
  • Wherever possible, use a stove rather than an open fire. If you light a fire, keep it small, under control and supervised. Never light a fire during prolonged dry periods or in areas such as forests, woods, farmland, or on peaty ground, near to buildings or in cultural heritage sites. Make sure the fire has been properly extinguished and remove all trace of an open fire before you leave the area.
  • Take a trowel to bury human waste or bag it and take it home with you to dispose of responsibly. If burying it, please do it at least 30m away from any watercourse.
  • Pitch your tent away from farms, houses or other buildings. If you must camp near someone’s home, ask permission first. Don’t pitch a tent in an enclosed field (fence or dykes) especially if there is livestock in it.
  • Don’t park your vehicle where it will cause an obstruction.

Find out more information on Perth and Kinross Council’s informal camping page.

In An Emergency

If you think a crime has been, or is in the process of being, committed please contact the Police on 101 or 999 as necessary. If there is a situation which may cause immediate and concerning damage to the environment or lives (such as a fire which is out of control), please contact the relevant emergency service by dialling 999.

Perth and Kinross Council recommends the what3words app, to give an accurate location to the authorities in the event of an emergency. The what3words app is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Report Dirty Camping Incidents

Dirty camping is the term used to describe the behaviour of a small number of campers who fail to adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and act in an irresponsible or anti-social manner while camping. This can include inappropriate parking on roads, failing to dispose of human waste properly, causing damage, lighting fires or littering and fly-tipping.

The Council’s Safer Communities Team work on behalf of communities, carrying out patrols and liaising with other partners such as loch wardens, Police and Fire services, to report any issues and concerns which may have a detrimental effect on community wellbeing. Concerns around dirty camping should be reported to them at VisitorManagementGroup@pkc.gov.uk. Reports will be logged and passed to the officer leading on this piece of work. The team may not be able to respond immediately but will use information provided to build an intelligence picture, which will help inform future measures, including increased patrols to areas.

Other Resources

Young Scot – #KnowTheCode: a list of videos and educational resources on how to make the most of Scotland’s outdoors.
CAMPA – Caravan and Motorhome Professional Association: resources for finding motorhome campsites, areas where you can safely dispose of motorhome waste, and guidance and etiquette on camping with a motorhome in Scotland.

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