What is a Local Access forum?

A local access forum (LAF) is a group of representatives with a range of interests in outdoor access, who come together to discuss how to develop, manage and promote outdoor access locally. Generally, the LAF includes representatives from:

Why are local access forums established?
They were created by Section 25 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, 2003 to encourage dialogue among different groups of people about access issues and to provide an advisory and dispute-resolution service for the local authority and others. Each local authority is required to establish a local access forum.

What sort of things do local access forums do?
Each LAF differs slightly in its membership and aims and objectives. They have played a major part in advising over the core paths plan for their area, may have helped in advising over local disputes or issues, and/or helped to promote awareness of access rights and responsibilities.

How can I find out more about my local access forum?
Visit your local or national park authority web site and search for “local access forum”. You may find detail about how to apply to join it along with meeting agendas. If you can’t find anything then contact your local authority access officer.

Further information.
If you would like to find out more about LAFs, have a look at Local Access Forums: A Guide to Good Practice produced by Paths for All/NatureScot.

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