PROVIDING access to Ceredigion’s coast and countryside is an essential part of the rural tourism product in Ceredigion and the network of public rights of way is a valuable economic asset that helps create jobs, says the local council. What’s more, Cerdigion Council says it understands how countryside access has an important role to play in health and well-being. Regular walking, cycling and horse riding can bring benefits through improving people’s health and well-being, the council said.
The Ceredigion Local Access Forum is set up under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to advise Ceredigion County Council, Natural Resources Wales and others on the way that access to the countryside is improved and managed. Forums are appointed for a three year term. The Council is currently seeking enthusiastic people to sit on the Forum and play an important role in improving and managing access to the County’s diverse and attractive countryside.
Local Access Forums were set up under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act to give advice on the improvement of public access for the purpose of outdoor recreation and enjoyment, taking into account the needs of land management and the conservation of the natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Local Access Forums represent a broad spectrum of interests, including those with an interest in access (walkers, horse riders, cyclists, carriage drivers, motorised recreation vehicles and access for those with disabilities), farming and land management.
John Morgan, past Chairman of the Ceredigion Local Access Forum said “The Forum is a statutory body encouraged to set its own agenda. To those interested in developing public access and associated recreation it can be an effective interface with Ceredigion County Council, Government Agencies and other organisations who have responsibilities or interests in these topics.”
Over the last few years the Forum has grappled with a range of different issues ranging from the review of the Council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan which explains how the Council will manage and improve the extensive network of rights of way across the County, giving advice to Welsh Government on permissive access under the Glastir scheme, access issues affecting wind farm proposals and consideration of the requirements and impacts of motorised recreational vehicles.
A spokesman for Ceredigion County Council said “We will be making arrangements for appointing new members to the Forum early in the New Year. If you would like to get involved in shaping the future of public access to one of Ceredigion’s most precious assets – our countryside – then we would be pleased to hear from you”. Further information is available about the Ceredigion Local Access Forum, including information about applying to become a member, on the County Councils website:www. c e r e d i g i o n . g o v . u k / i n d e x . cfm?articleid=11843