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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Forest Access Forum - Become a member and make a difference

Members are being sought for the New Forest Access Forum, which gives advice on improving access for walking, horse riding, cycling and other outside recreation in and around the New Forest.

The Access Forum is an independent advisory body made up of volunteers with experience of issues affecting public access to the countryside and coast. It assesses the needs of a wide range of groups that use the Forest, before advising local and national organisations on access issues.

Applications are welcome from anyone who has knowledge or experience in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Leisure and recreation
  • Farming and land management
  • Nature conservation
  • Education
  • Health
  • Tourism

The needs of young people, minority groups and local businesses.
The Forum meets four times a year and travel expenses to and from meetings are provided. Members of the Forum are formally appointed for a term of three years by Hampshire County Council and the New Forest National Park Authority.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Recreation Management and Learning at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The work of the Access Forum is essential to the New Forest. Organisations such as the New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry Commission and the highways authorities value the advice of the Forum as they know it will take into account a wide variety of viewpoints.

‘I would urge anyone with an interest in the improvement of countryside access in the New Forest to consider applying to join the Forum.’

For more information contact Access Forum secretary Vicki Gibbon on 01590 646647 or email access.forum@newforestnpa.gov.uk. Application packs are available on request, or can be downloaded from www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/newmembers.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on 24 April, and new members should be available for the next meeting on 1 June.

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