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Caithness News Bulletins November 2004

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Highland Council      

1 November 04
People in the Highlands with an interest in public access rights to the countryside are being invited to stand as representatives on Local Access Forums.

Six forums are currently being established by The Highland Council in Caithness, Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty, Inverness/Nairn/Badenoch and Strathspey, Lochaber, and Skye and Lochalsh.

The forums are being set up by the Council in order to meet the statutory duties of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

Each forum, of up to 12 members, will operate in a local advisory capacity to the Council on matters relating to the exercise of public access rights in the countryside. The forums will no executive powers but will play an important consultative role on access related matters within their areas.  These will include consultations on: access strategies, path plans, applications for access exemption, application of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, and possible involvement in dispute resolution.

The type of people being sought for the Local Access Forums includes a balance of people involved in land ownership (e.g. estate owners, farmers, crofters, foresters); outdoor recreation (e.g. walkers, cyclists, horse riders, canoeists); community groups (e.g. community councils, environmental organisations, local path development groups); and public agencies (e.g. Forestry Commission, Scottish Natural Heritage, local enterprise companies, National Trust etc).

Potential members should ideally be resident in the area which the Forum represents and have a good familiarity with its geography and traditions.  They may already be involved with path development or management of the access resource.

Each forum is likely to have 4 evening meetings per year and reasonable travelling expenses will be covered for participants. Further information on the role of Local Access Forums can be obtained from Alex Sutherland, The Highland Council's Senior Access Officer on tel: 01463 702288.

Anyone interested in applying to join a Local Access Forum can get application forms from Laura Burns at the Highland Council's Planning and Development Service tel: 01463 702288 e-mail: laura.burns@highland.gov.uk .
Applications have to be received no later than 22nd November, 2004.

Scottish Natural Heritage

Scottish Outdoor Access Code

Highland Access Project

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