Local News

Enjoy Hampshire’s countryside? Come and have your say

New members are needed for an access forum to help ensure Hampshire’s countryside is enjoyed by all.

The Hampshire Countryside Access Forum includes a number of interest groups from landowners, farmers, councillors and rural business owners, to walkers, horse riders, carriage drivers, cyclists and motor vehicle users.

The cross-section of views helps ensure the needs of all groups are taken into account when countryside access advice is given to members of the public, developers and a range of organisations including Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils.

Councillor Andrew Gibson, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, said “We are looking for new members from all interest groups, but particularly those with expertise in public health, countryside motor vehicles, farming and land management, to complement the knowledge of existing members.”

The Forum is well respected and has been working successfully for many years, thanks to the wide range of interests represented. Please register your interest to help the Forum continue to make balanced decisions so that the beautiful Hampshire countryside can be enjoyed by everyone.”

The statutory Local Access Forum for Hampshire (excluding the New Forest and South Downs) Southampton and Portsmouth is required under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Members need to attend four meetings per year as well as task group sessions between full meetings. They need a good knowledge and understanding of at least one countryside viewpoint, but must also be able to recognise the validity of others’ views. It is also expected that members actively seek the views of the interest group they represent.

More information on how to apply can be found at www.hants.gov.uk/hcaf or contact the Countryside Access Team by phoning 01962 845326 or emailing hcaf@hants.gov.uk. The closing date for applications is 25 September.