Volunteers sought for North Yorkshire Local Access Forum

View from Swainby near Stokesley. Photo: North Yorkshire Council.

People with a passion for the great outdoors are being invited to apply for membership of a group set up to improve access to North Yorkshire’s countryside.

The North Yorkshire Local Access Forum is currently recruiting new members.

An independent body that advises North Yorkshire Council and others on how people can make the most of opportunities to get out and about, the forum helps shape the future of the county’s green spaces.

This includes footpaths, bridleways, byways and open access land within North Yorkshire, but outside of the boundaries of the two National Parks for the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

Whether it is rambling or running, cycling or horse riding, tourism or public transport, it is important to ensure that as many interests as possible are represented on the forum.

Other areas include:

  • Motor vehicles and motorcycle use.
  • Youth services and organisations.
  • Disabled and disadvantaged groups.
  • Visitor economy.
  • Ethnic minority communities.
  • Local businesses.

The forum works to maintain rights of way, ensure communities remain connected and improve links to places of interest.

One example of its recent work is the completion of repairs to a footbridge which crosses the River Rye near the village of Nunnington in Ryedale.

There are generally three meetings a year and members may also attend site visits, workshops, training events and conferences as appropriate.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member with responsibility for public rights of way, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “North Yorkshire’s countryside is the jewel in our crown and ensuring it remains open and accessible to all is incredibly important.

“This has to be balanced with the needs and requirements of the people who live and work here as well and this is why the work of the Local Access Forum is so valued.

“Its volunteers bring a wealth of ideas and expertise and guarantee all views are represented and their voices heard.”

Applications are being invited between Monday, July 10, and Friday, August 4.

Interviews will take place in late August to select new members before the next meeting of the Local Access Forum on September 25.

To apply, applicants can request an application pack via email from democratic services officer, Harriet Clarke, at harriet.clarke@northyorks.gov.uk or telephone at 01423 556068.

You can also visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/localaccessforum for more information, including an application form.