FCS-SOA Concordat

Clubs are reminded that as part of the current permissions process with the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) they must submit a copy of an Ordnance Survey map showing the extent of the area to be used plus any other relevant information. A Master Agreement & Permissions Procedure is in place. Details of the agreement.

31st Aug 14

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

FCS and SOA Concordat

Forestry Commission Scotland


With Scottish Orienteering Association



Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate and manages Scotland’s National Forest Estate of around 660,000 hectares.

The Scottish Orienteering Association is the national governing body of the sport of orienteering in Scotland on behalf of British Orienteering, with the primary aims to increase participation, increase and maintain club membership and provide pathways for athletes and volunteers to develop to their best ability.

Mutual goals

Both organisations recognise the importance of outdoor recreation, and work within the framework of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to encourage responsible access.

Working together to improve people’s health and wellbeing through participation in orienteering, whilst respecting the forest environment and the needs of other users, we will:

  • Through a programme of orienteering events, promote the responsible use of Scotland’s national forests and woods for orienteering;
  • Welcome into the forest orienteers who wish to use it for training and small club events;
  • Use our networks and influence to encourage better mutual understanding of the needs of orienteers and all forest users;
  • Work to develop links between local orienteering clubs and the managers of forests and woods in their areas;
  • Ensure that orienteers feel welcome in using the forests and that they play a part in conserving the value of forests for everyone;
  • Help others understand how participating in sport enhances people’s lives, through improved health and fitness;
  • Respond positively to conflicting interests, ensuring that any restrictions on orienteering are fair, balanced and regularly reviewed;
  • Maintain an on-going dialogue to make the best use of forests for orienteering and minimise negative impact;
  • Act within the guidelines of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and relevant guidance such as the Scottish Natural Heritage publication entitled 'Outdoor events in Scotland: guidance for organisers and land managers'.

Forestry Commission Scotland will:

  • Promote guidance to our staff to ensure a consistent approach to managing access for orienteering, reflecting existing legislation;
  • Make orienteers aware of opportunities and places that are particularly suited to their needs;
  • Seek restrictions on orienteering only in exceptional circumstances, such as an essential felling programme or seasonally or environmentally sensitive habitat or areas, offering alternative suggestions where this is possible;
  • Accommodate and assist safe and responsible orienteering in the forest environment, whilst balancing the needs of all other interests.

Scottish Orienteering Association will:

  • Provide Forestry Commission Scotland with adequate prior notice of an orienteering event that will use FCS land;
  • Promote orienteering in the forest that respects the forest environment and its other users;
  • Promote safe and responsible behaviour at orienteering events;
  • Endorse and encourage proportionate and balanced measures to reduce any conflict between orienteers and other forest interests;
  • Use its networks to encourage members to support Forestry Commission Scotland’s work towards the multiple use of woodland;
  • Work with partners to explore and resolve any localised issues.

Participant safety:

Orienteering is an adventure sport and competitors take part at their own risk. However, the safety of competitors is paramount, and both organisations will make all reasonable endeavours to ensure the safety of participants.


Signed (for Forestry Commission Scotland):
Alan Stevenson (Head of Communities, Recreation & Tourism)
Inverness, 22/10/2013

Signed (for Scottish Orienteering Association)
Roger Scrutton (President)
Edinburgh, 22/10/2013

Downloadable Documents

FCS and SOA Concordat document

Photo of authorPosted on 31st Aug 14
by Roger Scrutton