New faces helping to improve access to the New Forest

Four new members have joined the New Forest Access Forum, an independent statutory organisation that gives advice on improving access opportunities for walking, cycling, horse riding and other open-air recreation.
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July 5, 2012 - PRLog -- The new members represent a range of interests and will join those who have been recently re-appointed.

Alison Russell will represent equestrian interests; Ben Rayner - wildlife and nature conservation; Heather Gould - dog walking; and Bobbie Lawrence - local business.

The Access Forum is an advisory body made up of volunteers who offer their time and experience on public access to the countryside and coast. They serve a term of three years and meet four times a year.

The group considers the broad needs of a wide-range of user groups before advising local and national authorities and organisations on access issues.  

The Forum was set up in 2006 along with the establishment of the National Park. Prior to this, the area was covered by the Hampshire Countryside Access Forum.

Leo Randall, who represents the New Forest National Park Authority on the Access Forum, said: ‘The work of the Access Forum is essential to the New Forest. Organisations such as the New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry Commission and highways authorities value the advice of the Forum as they know it will have taken everyone’s viewpoints into account. I look forward to working with our new members and learning more about their specialist areas of expertise.’

New member Heather Gould, said:  ‘I was keen to join the Access Forum to represent dog walking which otherwise, might not have had a voice.’

Alastair Duncan, the Chair of the Access Forum, would like to thank those members who have recently stepped down - John Cropp, John Durnell, John Pemberton, Graham Bland and Wendy Hughes - for their all their hard work.

For more information about the New Forest Access Forum visit

Notes to Editor:
The New Forest Access Forum is the statutory local access forum for the New Forest National Park and South West Hampshire (New Forest District Council area) as required under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.  The appointing authorities are the New Forest National Park Authority and Hampshire County Council.  The Forum is an independent body and is not bound by the policies of its appointing authorities. The New Forest National Park Authority provides its secretariat support.

Media Contact:
Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
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