Many landowners welcome and value community or educational access but it is good practice to ask permission before using their space. If you do not know who owns or manages the space you would like to use, try asking parents; local community members; staff who live locally; neighbours to the greenspace; Local Authority staff or others that work locally.
Find out about your rights and responsibilities in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. There is specific guidance relating to outdoor learning and educational materials to help your pupils understand their rights and responsibilities.
If your landowner is reluctant or apprehensive about allowing you to use their space, OWL Scotland's guidance for landowners may be of use. In working with the school and local community, the land owner may be able to access grants to help manage or improve their greenspace.
Use our tried and tested greenspace audit with colleagues or partners and don't forget to plan your route there and back. If use of local greenspace is to be embedded, access must be straightforward. You should, of course, do a risk-benefit assessment too.
Keep in close, regular communication with your landowner; share the positives as well as any issues. Discuss any work they have planned and improvements you would like to make. Particular activities may require specific permission, such as adapting/improving the space; erecting permanent or semi-permanent structures; removing items to take back to school; digging, e.g. for clay/mud kitchens/loose materials; building fires.
Find out more
- Potential local partners
- Grants for outdoor learning
- Greenspace audit
- Scottish Outdoor Access Code Education Resources
- Responsible behaviour by educational groups and land managers regarding outdoor learning
- Film: How to find and access your greenspace
- Risk-benefit assessment (Education Scotland National Improvement Hub)