Local Access Forum seeking new members

The Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Local Access Forum, an independent advisory body that seeks to improve public access for recreation in the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, is looking for new members who are passionate about the National Park.  

There are currently between 12-22 vacancies available under the new term of office for The Local Access Forum, which advises Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority on ways to improve public access, taking into account land management and conservation and its independent members will have a balance of people with recreational and land owning experience.

The independent members are all voluntary, and are drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds to look at all issues concerning access to the countryside.  The Forum has a three year term and anyone who is interested in applying is being asked to put their names forward to the National Park Authority by the 20th October.

Outgoing chairman of the Bannau Brycheiniog LAF, Mike Scott-Archer said: “The Forum meets four times a year and liaises with neighbouring Forum and is also represented on the National Access Forum.  Our recent work has included surveying permissive paths within the park; commenting on National Park future visitor policies, advising on rights of way changes and spearheading a new policy within the park to manage large outdoor events.

“We have to strike a balance between access to the countryside for recreation purposes and the need for land management and conservation, so it’s important that members have a range of interests and passions that enable the forum to represent a balanced view. We are looking for members who reflect all aspects of this – including farmers, conservationists, outdoor sports enthusiasts, disabled users and those who earn their living from access to the park. The Forum is there to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.

“By using the experience and knowledge of the forum members we are able to build up a consensus about the best way of tackling particular issues. We have found that the Park Authority values the advice the Forum gives because it reflects the views of the whole community rather than just one or two particular interests.”

Cllr Evan Morgan, Chairman for the Planning, Access and Rights of Way Committee for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “The work of the Local Access Forum is highly appreciated by the National Park Authority and provides impartial advice that comes from Members with a variety of back grounds and interests. This diversity which includes land owners and farmers as well as those with recreational backgrounds provides well-grounded advice from an independent source. I would encourage anyone with an interest in access, recreation or anyone with experience of managing land that may be affected by access issues to apply for membership.”

Local Access Forums were created across Wales and England under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

The closing dates for application is Monday 20th October and anyone who would like to apply to become a member of the Bannau Brycheiniog Local Access Forum can obtain more information by contacting Lisa Lloyd on 01874 620453 or lisa.lloyd@beacons-npa.gov.uk.