Improving Public Access

Date published: 27 February, 2021

The Improving Public Access option is open for applications from 1 March 2021 to 30 June 2021 inclusive.

Applications for Improving Public Access must be made separately to other applications for the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme as it has its own separate assessment process.

  • The creation of new or improvement of existing paths can bring many benefits.
  • Improved access to the countryside, nature and outdoor spaces helps improve people’s health and well-being, both physically and mentally as well as bringing social benefits too
  • They contribute to economic growth through tourism, leisure and recreation
  • They provide for active travel journeys encouraging recreational and functional journeys by walking, cycling, riding and wheeling rather than car
  • For land managers they can help with the management of public access alongside a working estate, farm, croft etc. and can open up economic opportunities linked to diversification
  • For the public they provide opportunities for enjoyment of the outdoors and nature, whilst for local communities, good accessible path networks provide a valuable resource for local people and visitors

The Improving Public Access option can be summarised as: ·

  • Select from a menu of path infrastructure capital items, these have a fixed payment rate linked directly to meeting the standard requirements specification
  • Design your path, selecting from the menu of items, and prepare a map showing location of each menu item
  • Complete the schedule of works listing the items chosen, quantity and location
  • NatureScot case officers will assess all applications and make a site visit
  • If successful you must build the path and infrastructure exactly as stated in the contract and in the requirements document
  • Once built you claim for payment, the path may be inspected and if all is good payment is made

Improving Public Access (IPA) projects may be small scale, to enhance a single path or they may tackle larger network improvements or long distance paths.

The aim of the Improving Public Access item is to support new and upgraded paths for public use, providing:

  • improved links and connectivity
  • improved path conditions
  • accessible paths for all

These new and improved paths will create a path resource that encourages outdoor access for a diverse range of users, and helps to integrate responsible access and recreational use with good land management.

This item is open to local authorities and administrations, public bodies, community associations, public-private partnerships, NGOs, private companies, organisations in charge of tourist and recreational development, as well as individual farmers, groups of farmers, crofters and other land managers.

This item is available across all rural areas of Scotland, which is defined as land other than settlements with a population of over 3000.

For more details see How to Apply for IPA

Section Change
Whole page Updated for 2021 round

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