Volunteers needed to help improve Dorset’s paths and open spaces

THE Dorset Local Access Forum are looking for people who want to improve the county’s paths and open spaces for local people and visitors.

The forum (DLAF) considers all the issues relating to the county’s Public Rights of Way and public green spaces.

They find solutions to matters such as the coast path being lost to erosion, the need for safe vehicle-free routes for walking, cycling and horse-riding, the maintenance and improvement work that is sensitive to the paths character and landscape and how to help people to walk and ride and not use vehicles for local trips.

The forum are looking for people to be part of this team. Anyone can apply to join the DLAF – all you need is commitment, enthusiasm, and experience of using, helping provide or of the wider issues that could be benefited by improved countryside access.

That could be:

  • Someone who enjoys walking, horse-riding, cycling, responsible vehicular driving or other outdoor activities, or who uses the county’s rights of way to travel sustainably around their local area.
  • An owner, occupier and/or manager of land – especially with open access or Public Rights of Way.
  • Someone involved with matters such as health, environment, planning, tourism, the economy where improved paths and green space could bring additional public benefits.

The forum is an independent, statutory body providing advice to various organisations, including councils, AONBs, English Heritage, the Forestry Commission, Defra and Natural England, as well as any members of the public who request it.

Councillor Noc Lacey-Clarke, Cabinet lead member for Environment, Travel and Harbours at Dorset Council, said: “The Dorset Local Access Forum is an opportunity to bring together a diverse mix of people of all ages and expertise to provide fresh, creative and challenging ideas and advice on how to improve and develop paths and countryside access sites in Dorset. Its members shape the forum and its work.

“This last year has highlighted the very important role that Dorset’s public rights of way and green space plays in people’s lives, health and to get outside into the fresh air. At times this has also presented new challenges and opportunities to learn.

“The forum exists to help make Dorset more accessible and enjoyable for everyone, both now and in the future.”

To apply to join the DLAF visit www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/get-involved-dlaf

The deadline to apply is 7 November 2021.

Woodmead Halls

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