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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Making a difference to countryside access in the New Forest

The New Forest Access Forum is recruiting new volunteers to join its statutory forum that gives advice on improving access opportunities for walking, cycling, horse riding and other open-air recreation in the New Forest National Park and surrounding area.

The Access Forum is an independent advisory body made up of volunteers who offer their time and experience on public access to the countryside and coast. It takes in the needs of a wide-range of user groups before advising local and national authorities and organisations on access issues.

Applications are welcomed from anyone who has knowledge or experience in a wide range of areas such as: leisure and recreational activities; farming and land management; nature conservation; education; health; tourism; young people; minority groups and local businesses.  The Forum meets four times a year and travel expenses to and from the meetings is paid for.

Sarah Manchester, Countryside Access Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority and Support Officer to the New Forest Access Forum, 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 highways authorities value the advice of the Forum as they know it will have taken everyone’s viewpoints into account. I would urge anyone with an interest in the improvement of countryside access in the New Forest to consider making an application to join the Forum.’

The Forum is formally appointed for a term of three years by Hampshire County Council and the New Forest National Park Authority which also provides the secretariat support.

For more information contact Forum Secretary Vicki Gibbon on 01590 646647 or email Application packs are available on request, or can be downloaded from the National Park Authority website

The closing date for applications is 5pm on 15 May 2012.

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