Join a LAF to advise local decision-makers on rights of way and green space; LAF contact details and information for access authorities.
Role of LAFs
Local Access Forums advise decision making organisations (such as local authorities) about making improvements to public access for outdoor recreation.
LAFs can set their own priorities depending on local issues and what is of interest to the group members. 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.
LAFs are established under sections 94 and 95 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and are governed by The Local Access Forums (England) Regulations 2007.
How to become a forum 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 your 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 forums meet 2 or 3 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.
Information for members and access authorities
The Handbook for LAF Members includes advice for LAFs on how to fulfill day to day and annual reporting responsibilities.
This handbook also contains information for local access authorities to help them understand their responsibilities towards LAFs, including the requirement to consult LAFs on rights of way improvement plans.
LAF members can use Huddle to share best practice and ideas online. If you are a LAF member and would like access to Huddle, please email: LAF@naturalengland.org.uk.
Natural England receives annual reports from each LAF and produces the national Local Access Forum annual report.
Yorkshire and Humberside
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
Defra has produced guidance on the role and responsibilities of LAFs in England.
For more information about LAFs, please contact LAF@naturalengland.org.uk.