The Devon Countryside Access Forum is a statutory local access forum under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. It has seventeen members who advise on the “improvement of public access to land for the purposes of open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the area.” The Forum gives independent advice to a number of Government bodies in addition to Devon County Council, district and borough councils and parish and town councils.
Appointments are made by Devon County Council and applications from anyone with an interest in recreational access are warmly invited. No formal qualifications are required. All applications will be considered and we would love to hear from landowners and managers, access users and people with other relevant professional interests such as planning, education, sport, sustainable transport and business. Although membership is voluntary, a generous mileage rate is paid. Formal meetings are held three times a year. There are occasional small working groups and a yearly training day.
In this round of appointments applications from walkers, women and those with a knowledge of the Definitive Map review process would be particularly welcome.
During 2019 the Forum responded to a number of local and national consultations including proposals for management of Fire Beacon Hill, and visitor access and management on the Pebblebed Heaths. It will be looking at the Natural England coastal access reports (the England Coast Path) on stretches between Kingswear and Cremyll and Combe Martin and Marsland Mouth early in 2020.
At one of its meetings in 2019, Forum members had a presentation from a Public Rights of Way warden and discussed how the network is managed and maintained. This theme was part of its Training Day when members visited the Granite Way and Pegasus Trail to talk about development of recreational trails, different use patterns, surfacing and maintenance.
Forum members participate in Parish Paths Partnership (P3) events and are always keen to learn about improvements that P3 groups have made locally.
Why don’t you consider applying to join the Forum? It’s an interesting opportunity and you can:-
- contribute to the debate- share your experience and expertise from your specific area of interest;
- meet and work with others- listen to and share ideas on solving access problems;
- help make a difference- influence local and UK policies which impact on access;
- be informed- receive regular local and national access information updates.
For details and an application form please see www.devon.gov.uk/dcaf The closing date is Friday, 21st February 2020.