Observing nature, horse riding, fishing and other information

Codes of conduct have been prepared for a range of specific activities in the great outdoors, by many different organisations. Please see the links below for further information on the codes of conduct drawn up on a range of activities. If you are aware of any other codes of conduct that you think we should feature on this website, please do let us know by emailing us at info@eocaconservation.org


Horse Riding

  • Always check that access is allowed for horse riding. Follow local guidance and signage.
  • Respect farmers and land managers work by not disrupting operations or livestock, and by leaving gates as you find them. Take care not to disturb farm animals -and wildlife- by riding slowly past them
  • Respect the interests of other users and make sure that they are aware of your presence.
  • Keep to suitable tracks to help minimise damage to vegetation and soil. Avoid churning up paths and surfaces. Avoid wet, boggy or soft ground and take an alternative route if horse use is causing damage or erosion. Kick your horses dung off paths wherever possible.
  • If you are riding off tracks, especially during the winter, take care to avoid churning up the surface
  • If you transport your horse by trailer or horsebox, do not clean them out or dispose of the horse’s dung in car parks, lay-byes or on to paths. Park carefully and ensure that you do not block gateways or car parks. Make sure your horse is securely tied up when not being ridden.


  • Be aware of fishing regulations and adhere to them.
  • Respect other anglers and waterways users
  • Protect the environment – The health of the fish you are trying to catch depends upon the health of our environment. Dispose of rubbish, unwanted fishing gear and bait scraps in appropriate refuse receptacles or take it home when you leave. Only leave footprints wherever you go. Be aware of other plants and animals you may encounter when fishing.
  • Carefully return undersized, protected or unwanted catch back to the water – learn and practice the best methods of releasing live fish.
  • Fish species and other organisms must not be relocated into other water bodies – they may become invasive and disrupt the natural balance of biodiversity in that water body.
  • Attend your fishing gear, treat fish humanely and value your catch – Treat fish humanely and avoid waste by attending your gear to ensure that fish are retrieved as soon as possible and despatching fish humanely immediately after capture.

Hill walking and the Stalking Code
If you are planning to walk in the Scottish hills between July and October, you will need to find out where deer stalking is taking place and take steps to ensure that you are not going to disturb it. For more information, please click HERE.

Fossil collection.
Scottish Natural Heritage have produced a code which provides advice on best practice in the collection, identification, conservation and storage of fossils, For more information visit their website by clicking HERE.

Marine wildlife watching code
Scottish Natural Heritage have produced guidance on how to watch marine wildlife responsibly whether they are on the shore or at sea. For more information, please click HERE.

Towpath Code of Conduct.
Whether you are planning to walk or cycle along a towpath, Waterscape has produced a code of conduct on how to use towpaths responsibly and how to interact with other towpath users. For more information, please click HERE.

Bird Watching.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) have produced a code of conduct for responsible bird watching which you can find by clicking HERE.  The code also gives details of the law relating to birds in the UK.