BGA Code of Practice


Members of the BGA agree to abide by the following code of conduct listed below.  In addition to the guidelines from outdoor access Scotland and the Countryside code for England and wales, you agree to abide by the additional measures whilst Gold Panning.

Click here for Outdoor Access Scotland Click here for the Countryside code (England & Wales)

  • Always have the permission of the landowner before undertaking any Gold Panning activities, obtaining a license or permit where applicable.
  • Always respect the wishes of the landowner and leave areas as you found them, following the best practices in panning for gold.  Gravel and silt should be taken form the bed of the burn only and then will be deposited back into the bed of the burn when you have finished with it, taking care not to deposit rocks or gravel on the banks.
  • DO NOT undermine or dig away at the banks.  This can increase the rate of erosion, damage habitats and can be visually obtrusive.
  • Only use a Gold pan, gravel pump, shovel and sluice.  Do not use high bankers or dredges.
  • Find out whether your chosen location is within a SSSI or special area of interest.  If it is, then you will have to contact the local nature conservation authority to confirm if Gold Panning can take place and if so, what measures may be needed in order to protect the features of the site.
  • Follow any agreed local information aimed at preventing significant disturbance to plants, birds, fish or other animals, protected or otherwise, or at preventing the spread of erosion in more sensitive areas.
  • Avoid salmon spawning gravel beds from the beginning of October until the end of May.  In all other areas, take extra care during the spawning season, as it’s an offence to willfully disturb any salmon spawn or spawning beds and shallows where salmon spawn may be.
  • Care needs to be taken when in areas where wild animal or plants are present. Access the river by established tracks where possible.  Take care not to disturb nesting birds.  Help areas recover after Gold Panning activities, by filling in holes and leveling gravels.  The next spate will finish this task for you.

In summary:

  • Care for the environment.  If you are exercise access rights, look after the places you visit and enjoy.  Please leave the land as you found it.
  • Take responsibilities for your own actions.  Remember that the outdoors cannot always be made risk free and act with care for your own safety and that of others.
  • Remember when you are Gold Panning, you are an ambassador for your hobby.  Do nothing that may give it a bad name, as we don’t want further excuses for the authorities to try and stop it. 
  • Please talk to people that are interested in what you are doing and direct them to the Website for more information.   

Gold panning is an enjoyable hobby for all the family, so by following the above cod of conduct, you will help us to promote and continue our hobby into the future

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