Local Access Forums: participate in decisions on public access
How to join or contact a Local Access Forum in England.
Local Access Forums (LAFs) advise decision making organisations (such as local authorities) about making improvements to public access for outdoor recreation and sustainable travel.
LAFs can set their own priorities depending on local issues. They also respond to consultations and draft policy documents. When making recommendations, LAF members need to consider land use, as well as the need to conserve flora, fauna, geological and physical features.
How to become a LAF member
Members of LAFs are volunteers and include a range of people from the local community, including:
- land owners and land managers
- access users such as walkers, cyclists and horse riders
- those representing other interests, such as health and conservation
Contact a LAF if you are interested in becoming a member. They will let you know when vacancies become available.
New members are appointed by the local authority or national park authority, known as the ‘appointing authority’ or ‘access authority’.
All the meetings are advertised on the local access authority’s website and many are included in the local press.
Most LAFs meet at least 4 times a year. Some forums also have topic groups which meet more regularly.
Members of the public can attend meetings as an observer, but only LAF members can participate in the discussions. There may be an opportunity after the meetings for non-members to ask questions.
Advice for LAF members
LAF members can use online resources available through Huddle (a secure, shared workspace):
- for advice on how to fulfil day-to-day and annual reporting responsibilities
- to share best practice and ideas
If you are a LAF member and would like access to Huddle, email: LAF@naturalengland.org.uk.
Contact a LAF
Yorkshire and the Humber
East of England
- Milton Keynes Local Access Forum
- Secretary: Rosie Armstrong
- phone: 01908 254418
- email: email@example.com
- Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Local Access Forum
LAFs send their annual reports to Natural England which it uses to produce the national Local Access Forum annual report.
For more information about LAFs, please contact LAF@naturalengland.org.uk.