soa :: land access agreement


(l-r) Ken Daly, Lord Roseberry & Keith Arbuthnott

Yesterdays ESOC event at Dalmeny House near Edinburgh marked not only the East of Scotland Club Championships but also the launch of a formal sample access agreement between the Scottish Orienteering Association (SOA) and the Scottish Rural Properties & Business Association (SRPBA).

This important agreement builds on the existing legislation and Scottish Outdoors Access Code, and enshrines the principles of responsible access, respect for each others’ interests, and care for the environment. It is an excellent example of how a significant group of recreational land users can reach positive agreements with land owners and managers, to everyone’s benefit.

The agreement was signed by Ken Daly (SOA President) and Keith Arbuthnott (SRPBA Chairman) with the occasion marked further with the presenentation of a framed copy of the orienteering map of his estate to Lord Rosebery.

For the event organisers, land access of another kind was a significant problem, lambing reducing the available competition area by about three quarters! Given these restrictions the planner made best of the area available and the physical courses were made harder still by the hot weather.

Roxburgh Reivers came out easy victors in the East of Scotland Club Champs, thanks primarily to the Maxwell family who took victories on the Yellow (Karen, W12), Red (Eileen, W40) and Light Green (Kirstin, W14) courses. Aided by 1st and 2nd on the Orange from the McNeilly sisters and further second places from Bill Knox on the Red and James Tullie on the Brown saw them overcome ESOC by 17 points with Interlopers a further 19 points adrift.

It was Mark Nixon who took victory on the Brown by 3 minutes in a time of 58:19 minutes for the 9.1km course while Ed Catmur won the 8.3km Blue by 9 minutes in a time of 59:10, a presumably un-suited Ken Daly taking 5th spot in a time of 76:15.

Full results are available here and should you wish to see the full access agreement (complete with photo of Mhairi Mackenzie) then you would find that here. The agreement can be used as it appears, adapted to
suit individual events or areas, or simply used as a prompt on the likely
issues which need to be addressed when discussing access for orienteering
events with land managers.

(Photo courtesy of Ian Jacobs).

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