WALKERS are being urged to check out the Scottish Outdoor Access Code as the deer stalking season begins on Scotland’s hills.

Stalking takes place on estates around the country between July and late October.

But the Heading for the Scottish Hills website, a service managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), provides extensive details on where and when deer stalking is likely to take place.

On the hills around Loch Lomond and the Arrochar Alps, key areas to keep in mind include the estates at Ardkinglas, where stalking begins in mid-August, Glenfalloch, where stalking may be encountered from late August onwards, and Strone, from early September.

Fiona Cuninghame, recreation and access officer with SNH, said: “Deer stalking takes place when Scottish weather is often at its peak.

“More people want to get outside and enjoy nature, but it’s also a very busy time for land managers.

“Heading for the Scottish Hills is a quick way for hill walkers to check they won’t disturb any stalking.”

The website helps walkers follow the advice in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to try and find out where stag stalking is taking place and who to contact if more information is required.

It also includes routes that are ‘always okay’ and the days stalking will take place on each estate.

The Code also encourages walkers to follow reasonable advice on alternative routes and to avoid crossing land where stalking is taking place.

Davie Black, Mountaineering Scotland’s access officer, said, “We have been involved with Heading for the Scottish Hills since it started, and are always happy to see more estates join each year.

“We encourage all walkers to check the website during the stalking season and contact the relevant estate if they have further questions.”

Richard Cooke, Chairman of the Association of Deer Management Groups, said: “The Association of Deer Management Groups has been involved with Heading for the Scottish Hills for more than 20 years, both in its initial book form and now in the online version.

“We would like to see this resource as the ‘go to’ source of information for people taking recreational access in the Highlands and are pleased that an increasing number of deer management groups are signing up. Clearly it is in our members’ interests also to make this information available.”

The website, which is viewable from mobiles and tablets, can be accessed at: www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/hftsh