Pembrokeshire Local Access Forum

The Pembrokeshire Local Access Forum is a statutory body advising on the improvement of access to the countryside for recreation and enjoyment.

The forum was established jointly by Pembrokeshire County Council and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority in 2002, following legislation and regulations introduced in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Pembrokeshire was one of the first counties in Wales to establish a forum.

Wooden footpath sign with Solva Harbour in background

Role of the Forum

The statutory function of the forum is to advise the County Council, National Park Authority and Natural Resources Wales on the improvement of public access to the countryside of Pembrokeshire for the purposes of open air recreation and enjoyment.

Since its initial formation the forum has considered a wide range of issues in advising the National Park Authority and Pembrokeshire County Council on the improvement of public access to the countryside. The remit of the forum is large and it has advised on all forms of countryside access including on foot, horseback, cycling and motorised off-road access.

Membership of the Forum

The forum meets in public on a quarterly basis and its membership is balanced to reflect the concerns of local farmers and land managers, as well as the interests of recreational users in the countryside.

The appointing authorities, Pembrokeshire County Council and the National Park Authority, must ensure that there is a reasonable balance of members representing the interests of the users of public rights of way and the owners, occupiers and managers of the countryside. Forum members, however, sit as individuals, rather than as representatives of any specified organisation.

Local Access Forums must review their membership every three years and in January 2022 the Forum moved into its seventh term with the secretariat rotating to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. You can contact the forum secretary Anthony Richards by emailing antr@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk.

Members are appointed on their ability, through knowledge and experience, to represent the interests of at least one group of access users, land mangers or other issues relevant to access such as tourism. The membership is committed to the improvement of public access.

Agendas/Minutes of Local Access Forum meetings

Copies of the minutes and agendas of forum meetings can be requested by emailing the forum secretary antr@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk.

Meeting Dates 2022

Meetings in 2022 will be held on 1 April, 24 June and 28 October. For more details email the forum secretary antr@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk.

The Work of the Local Access Forum

  • In its role of a statutory consultee for matters relating to countryside access and public rights of way, the Local Access Forum has responded to many consultations and strategies published by the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales.
  • The forum was involved in helping to develop the revised Countryside Code and commented on a range of guidance and regulations regarding the management of public rights of way arising from the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
  • The forum highlighted the mapping of open country and common land in preparation for the launch of the new right of access introduced by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act in 2005. In addition to being consulted on the mapping process and appeals, it also advised on signage and other management issues relating to Access Land.
  • The forum has been closely involved in the preparation of the statutory Pembrokeshire Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) which is the prime means by which local authorities identify, prioritise and plan for improvements to the public rights of way network.
  • The forum has been closely involved in the ongoing Welsh Government reforms of access and public rights of way legislation in Wales.
  • Other issues that have been considered include the problems of illegal motorised access to the countryside and the control of dogs.

Contact The Local Access Forum Secretary

Mr Anthony Richards

Secretary of the Local Access Forum

Email antr@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk.