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CNPA seeks members for Local Outdoor Access Forum

6th December 2004

People with an interest in outdoor access – from a recreational, community or land management perspective – are being encouraged to volunteer for a place on the Cairngorms Local Outdoor Access Forum.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is advertising for volunteers for the Forum in the press this week.

The CNPA has a statutory duty to establish a Local Outdoor Access Forum for the National Park, which will advise the Park Authority and the public on the new rights of outdoor access.

Murray Ferguson, Head of Visitor Services and Recreation at the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) said: “Everyone knows that the National Park is a superb place for outdoor recreation. The Forum will play an important role in advising the Park Authority on how best to make the new rights of responsible access work on the ground.

“We are very keen to hear from as many people as possible with the appropriate blend of knowledge, skill and experience relating to outdoor access issues in the area. We need people who use the area for recreation, who manage the land in some form or another, or who deal with community issues. And we need people from all around the Park too.

“Obviously we need people with good communication skills and who can work constructively with others. Commitment is also a key issue as members will need to be able to attend at least four or five meetings a year.”

The Forum will consist of 20 volunteer members with five places allocated to land management interests; five places for recreational users; seven places for people with community interests including all abilities access, and three places for public agencies. Appointments will be made on the basis of a written application and anybody can apply.

Those applying for places on the Forum should say which of the three stakeholder groups they are most associated with (land managers, recreation users or community). In terms of land management interests, applications are sought from farmers, crofters, estate managers and so on. Recreational users could include water users, horse riders, walkers and cyclists to name but a few. Community interests – for example – could be people with an interest in paths, health and well-being, all-abilities access, tourism or the environment.

As well as having significant knowledge relating to a particular group, those hoping to be on the Forum need to have a good understanding of outdoor access issues generally.

Anyone interested in applying for a place on the Forum should contact Catriona Campbell on tel: 01479 873535 or email: [email protected]

The deadline for applications is Monday 17 January 2005. It is expected that the Forum will hold its first meeting in the early spring.