A sheriff will this month visit the estate at the centre of the latest attempt to block walkers’ rights.

Euan Snowie wants to exclude the public from his entire 70-acre Boquhan Estate near Kippen, Stirlingshire. Stirling Council issued Snowie and his wife Claire with an order to unlock a gate into the estate, which they have failed to do.

Now the case has gone to Stirling Sheriff Court to determine whether the land should be exempted from the right-to-roam provisions of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, which grants access to Scotland’s upland areas.

Sheriff Andrew Cubie now says he will visit the estate later in May. Sheriff Wyllie Robertson, who had been due to hear the case, had said he wouldn’t be making a site visit in the same way his Perth counterpart Michael Fletcher did at Kinfauns Castle in the Ann Gloag case, which is still to be determined.

It is now expected that the four-day hearing will take place at Stirling at the end of this month.

Mr Snowie says allowing the public on to his land would be an invasion of his privacy and would interfere with his children’s rights to ride their ponies in peace.
The council counters with the view that excluding the whole 70-acre estate from the legislation is excessive and that responsible access would not violate the couple’s privacy.

Euan Snowie is a Labour party donor. His family’s firm earned more than £37m transporting and disposing of animal carcasses during the 2001 foot-and-mouth-disease crisis. He lists his occupation as a farmer.