Boleside access rights

I read your article, published last week, on the difficulty that Scottish Borders Council has had in negotiating an agreement with Laggan Estates for Boleside.

This disappoints, but does not surprise me as anyone who is familiar with the area will already know that this company has a very aggressive policy towards public access with frequently-locked gates on rights of way, intrusive and strongly-worded signage and a generally unwelcoming stance – on more than one occasion I have been accosted verbally by members of its staff while walking or swimming in the area.

However, can I remind your readers that everyone can enjoy Scotland’s outdoor areas.

In summary, some of the main features of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 are:

z Everyone has the statutory right of access;

z Access rights apply to all land and inland waters;

z Access rights are for outdoor recreation, for crossing land and water.

I would have hoped that, like many companies, Laggan Estates might have used its obligation for social responsibility to make this area available for public amenity as it has been for generations, but I am afraid that by making an untenable rentage offer it is demonstrating a Victorian attitude to public access.

I would hope that the people of the Borders would continue to use the land, as is their right.

Lawrence Alexander

High Road

Galashiels