Norfolk Local Access Forum seeks new countryside volunteers

An organisation which helps shape the accessibility of Norfolk's countryside is looking for new volunteers who can broaden the range of interests across the membership.

Norfolk's Local Access Forum (LAF) is an independent statutory body, set up in 2003 to advise Norfolk County Council on ways of improving the public's access to both rural and urban areas.

Its main objective is to increase the availability of outdoor recreation activities and the enjoyment of the countryside, taking account of the needs of land managers, conservation, heritage and biodiversity issues.

The Norfolk LAF currently comprises 14 members who represent a wide range of countryside users, including farmers, land-owners, managers of wildlife sites and users of local rights of way like walkers, horse riders and cyclists.

Now it is looking for eight new members who can potentially represent an even wider range of ages and interests.

Chairman Don Saunders said: 'Norfolk is rightly renowned and proud of its beautiful and unique countryside and our Local Access Forum has a vital role to play in helping to develop what is arguably the county's greatest asset.

'Our members are a diverse group but they have one thing in common – they are all passionate about the Norfolk countryside and helping to increase the range and variety of ways that others can enjoy it too.

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'We get involved in an extremely wide range of countryside issues and we are working on a number of critical strategic projects. Not least of these is the development of our long distance paths to create a gold standard Norfolk Trails package to attract more local people and visitors to use them, and help boost economic growth along their corridors.'

'So we are keen to hear from potential new candidates and we are particularly looking for people who can represent interests like tourism, nature or landscape conservation, coastal issues, education, heritage, health, public transport, community safety and other business interests. I would also like to see young people represented on the forum.'

Norfolk LAF representatives are required to attend four formal public meetings a year, for which an allowance for travel and expenses is provided. They can also attend a range of informal workshops and events.

?For more information, visit www.localaccessforum.norfolk.gov.uk or call 01603 224461. The deadline for applications is February 9.

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