Something I've come to realise, reading my friends' blogs from all over the world, is just how lucky I am to live in Scotland.
Lots of reasons for that of course (haggis, deep fried pizza, deep fried Mars Bars, to name but a few). I guess the 'Scottish Outdoor Access Code' doesn't sound quite so interesting by comparison...
But in fact this Code thingy is one of the best things about this country. Let me explain why.
Regular readers will have noticed how many lovely places I explore on my walks. Mountain paths, forest tracks, routes along the cliffs and down to beautiful sandy beaches, riverside trails, you name it, we go there.
In fact, here in Scotland, we can go ANYWHERE WE LIKE. Well almost. Yes really! The Government says so. That's our Access Code. This is a truly wonderful piece of legislation introduced by the Scottish Government in 2003. It says that you have the right of access (for recreational purposes) over: "most land and inland water in Scotland, including mountains, moorland, woods and forests, grassland, margins of fields in which crops are growing, paths and tracks, rivers and lochs, the coast and most parks and open spaces, at any time of day or night...."
Isn't that just brilliant?
Now there is some boring (but quite reasonable) stuff too, about always acting responsibly, dogs being under close control, not disturbing farm animals etc.
And of course the code isn't perfect.
Had I been drafting the legislation, for example, I would certainly made sure that dogs have rights of access over any cupboards containing goodies and treats. That would only be fair don't you think?
Or am I yet again asking too much?