Gypsy/Travellers - rights and responsibilities

There are no authorised sites in the Scottish Borders other than the commercially managed Innerleithen site. We recognise that Gypsy/Travellers are restricted as to where they can legally encamp in the region.

Our rights and responsibilities

  • seek a balance between the needs of the ‘settled community’ and needs of Gypsy/Travellers
  • protect the local environment from abuse (litter)
  • evict individuals who do not fulfil their responsibilities in relation to staying on unauthorised sites

Unauthorised sites - limitations of stay

When unauthorised sites emerge, we will follow the ‘good neighbour code’ which means that we will:

  • provide information on waste disposal and other public services to assist your transit through the Scottish Borders
  • respond to any issues you may have

Our Gypsy/Traveller Liaison Officer will:

  • visit the site on a regular basis and make contact with you
  • ask you about your welfare, education and health needs
  • provide information on waste collection and the process in place for dealing with trade waste
  • check how long you have been at the site and plan to be there
  • inform you of concerns that local people have and discuss with you what action you can take to resolve these concerns
  • listen to concerns you have, and take action to resolve them where possible
  • check if there are any animal welfare concerns

A list of useful contacts is also available.

Gypsy/Traveller rights and responsibilities 

  • fair treatment by us
  • not to be discriminated against by the settled community or local service providers
  • access health, welfare and educational services without discrimination

While temporarily staying on unauthorised sites it is your responsibility to:

  • keep groups to a reasonable size for the area occupied
  • look after the land and respect nearby neighbours
  • dispose of rubbish properly in bags or waste bin
  • use public or own chemicals toilets and dispose of waste appropriately
  • no flytipping
  • ensure that the encampment does not create a road or road traffic hazard
  • park vehicles safely
  • do not light fires
  • keep animals under control at all times
  • clear up all animal waste
  • comply with trading and selling regulations
  • keep noise levels to a minimum after 10pm

Unsuitable locations

There is a likelihood of being moved immediately because of risks to health/safety/environment from the following areas:

  • areas with known toxic waste/areas of environmental concern
  • a site of scientific/environmental interest
  • on a public road/verge of a public road
  • a site where pollution may damage the local water supply
  • in parks, sports or recreation grounds
  • in close proximity to railway lines
Find useful contacts for Gypsy / Travellers